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Drought Watch: Very dry trend expands east, severe persists in Wakulla

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2020-03-12 18:20:43-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) — With passing showers over the past seven days around the state line region, most southern Georgia counties remain free of any drought classification on the weekly update of Drought Monitor data Thursday.

The drought situation remains starkly different south of the Florida/Georgia line, where the local drought epicenter in Wakulla County continues at a severe level.

Based on data and assessments from the National Drought Mitigation Center, rainfall deficits in some Big Bend and Florida peninsula areas exceed five inches over the last two to three months, and rain totals of less than a quarter inch over the last week have kept moderate and severe drought locked in around the coastal Bend, with an expansion of very dry conditions in the Suwannee River valley and the northern half of the Florida peninsula.

A short-term day-to-day drought index, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, rates the amount of moisture in topsoil levels. Thanks to recent spotty rainfall, upper-level moisture levels are at rather saturated, as measured by the Florida Department of Agriculture. However, the fire danger index Friday is forecast to be Moderate around Big Bend counties Friday.