The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report was released this morning, with this sober summary: "In general, a few improvements to the drought status of some states took place, but an overall worsening of the drought continued to plague the country."
In the Southeast, gains made with rain in June and July were erased as 100-plus degree temperatures led to an expansion of the worst drought in the country. The worst drought, centered on Alabama, expanded into neighboring Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Florida panhandle and South Carolina also saw new areas of drought, while southeast Georgia and parts of northeast and southern Florida improved.
In the West, Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Colorado benefited from rains, but conditions deteriorated in Idaho and Montana. "In both Idaho and Montana, surface water supplies are at or approaching historic lows," according to the report.
In the High Plains, the first significant rain in weeks improved drought conditions in Nebraska and South Dakota -- with the exception of northwest and southwest South Dakota, and northeast Nebraska, where conditions worsened.
In the Midwest, Iowa Wisconsin and Illinois got some relief, but drought conditions expanded in Michigan, Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and into Iowa.
In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, there was little change, though Western New York showed no easing of drought conditions there, and dry areas in Maine and New Hampshire expanded.
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