Thu Feb 14, 2013 01:27 PM CST

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) -- Current ocean temperatures show the likelihood that there will be continued drought throughout this year in the Midwest and West, a worrying sign for farmers that suffered under severe drought in 2012, a government weather official said Thursday.

"The continuing conditions really look like we're setting up for a very similar level of drought in the Midwest and West," said Roger Pulwarty, director in charge of drought at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Pulwarty, who was testifying before the Senate Agriculture Committee, told lawmakers the prediction is far from certain and he hoped conditions would ...

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