According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released on June 9, exceptional drought conditions, or D4, are now in place throughout southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia.

According to the scale used by the Drought Monitor, D4 signifies the most intense drought conditions possible.

Statewide topsoil moisture across Georgia was rated at 88 percent very short or short, with 12 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture for the state was 89 percent very short or short, with 11 percent adequate.

Alabama’s governor this week placed all 67 of the state’s counties under an emergency drought declaration, prohibiting all outdoor burning.

Drought continued to expand across Florida, with reports from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Naples indicating year-to-date precipitation totals running 68 percent, 27 percent and 33 percent of normal.

The Vegetation Drought Response Index for Florida is showing that most of the area is running in moderate drought with even interior Palm Beach and inland Collier counties running in the severe drought range.

 Lake Okeechobee is still below the critical line for water shortage, at 3.24 feet below normal for this time of year. 

Across the Carolinas, continued lack of rainfall led to an expansion of abnormally dry conditions across the central portions of North Carolina and South Carolina. Stream flows continued to deteriorate across eastern North Carolina.

Soil moisture conditions indicate that the driest conditions are along the coast while longer-term indicators depict the driest conditions across central portions of the Carolinas, so a slow expansion of drought is indicated to the west as some precipitation has fallen in the past three months. Across South Carolina, farm operators are seeing crop conditions deteriorate as the state officially entered into incipient drought status on June 2, as determined by the state’s climate office.

Minor amounts of rain made a dent in the drought across extreme northwestern Texas and northeastern New Mexico (with one station reporting 3.2 inches and surrounding stations reporting about an inch of precipitation). The rest of Texas and Oklahoma were dry, prompting some expansion of each drought category in those two states. 

The hot temperatures and windy conditions continue to extract moisture from the soil.