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Drought expansion likely through July

The latest Drought Monitor, released this morning, shows an expansion of drought and abnormally dry conditions in a good chunk of the Southeast from last week.  In Alabama and Georgia moderate drought has increased and some severe drought has been added to southern Georgia in places where little rain has been received on top of above-normal temperatures.  Abnormally dry conditions have also expanded in northern Florida.  The latest drought outlook, also released today, shows that in most of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina drought is expected to persist or develop for the period from April 20 to July 31.  Much of this is due to the prediction of above-normal temperatures continuing for the next few months, which increases evaporation and evapotranspiration rates.  The drought in the Florida peninsula is expected to improve as seasonal rain and potentially some tropical activity brings more moisture to the area.