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Drought expands again

All categories of drought showed a slight expansion in the latest Drought Monitor map.  Particularly worrisome is the re-expansion of severe drought in northern Georgia and back into the western Carolinas.  Warm conditions and an early start to the growing season has taken moisture out of the soil and increased evaporation and evapotranspiration, which has led to reduced stream flows and a continuation of low reservoir levels.  Rain earlier this week after the cut-off of the map on Tuesday may provide some relief but the next week looks mainly dry, so we will be watching this closely.