Drought expanded in two key areas of the country last week – Florida and West Texas – where several weeks of low rainfall have allowed already dry conditions to intensify, according to an update to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.
While much of the East Coast has seen heavy precipitation over the past two weeks, very little of that has extended into the Florida peninsula. According to the Drought Monitor, “abnormal dryness” pushed into all of southern Florida, while conditions of “severe drought” expanded in the eastern and central parts of the state. Meanwhile, relatively wet conditions in the Florida Panhandle have kept the northwestern part of the state out of drought.
Although this is the climatological dry season for Florida, the current level of dryness is more intense than in normal years. Since Nov. 1, 2012, Daytona Beach has received just a little more than 40 percent of its normal rainfall, making it the 7th driest period in 80 years.