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Drought Watch: Severity Decreases for Some, Increases for Others

local drought monitor (06/01/2017)
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 13:00:00-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- A pickup in rain activity for parched southern Georgia last week resulted in a slight improvement of the drought scenario, while locations in the Suwannee Valley weren't as well-soaked.

This week's update of the Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center has introduced Moderate Drought conditions in the middle and lower Suwannee River region of northern Florida.  The Abnormally Dry category reappeared along the Apalachicola River.

The state line was noted as a clear break between Moderate Drought in north Florida and Severe Drought in most southern Georgia counties.  However, above-average rainfall has, for now, wiped away the Severe Drought levels that had plagued the Okefenokee and Withlacoochee River areas.

The worst drought in the country is now centered in the spine of the central Florida peninsula, from roughly Orlando south to Lake Okeechobee, and area that covers 15% of the state.  In all, 82% of Florida is at least abnormally dry.  The only locations void of a drought classification are the Panhandle west of the Apalachicola River and the southeastern coast.

An expected increase in moisture sources and unsettled weather this weekend and early next week can provide some alleviation in the dryness spell across the peninsula, with some possible reduction of drought levels possible for north Florida as well.