MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- The absence of soaking rain events since early spring has supported the return of moderate and severe drought classifications for many areas around and north of the Florida/Georgia state line.
The weekly update of the Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center paints severe drought conditions growing in south Georgia between the Flint and Withlacoochee rivers. The Severe category also covers the Okefenokee Swamp region, where the West Mims wildfire continues to rage.
The coastal areas of the Big Bend and parts of the middle Suwannee River valley remain void of drought classification. Excessive rainfall from a few weeks ago created a surplus of soil moisture, but in the recent dry trend, that surplus has been reduced.
All local drought categories are described as "short-term" drought, meaning long-range conditions suggest additional rain activity which can cut down in the intensity and longevity of drought conditions. Warmer-than-average temperatures, though, may maintain current dryness conditions and keep the drought threats in place.