The latest Drought Monitor, released this morning, shows that drought expanded in every state in the Southeast due to the continued lack of rainfall along with warmer than normal temperatures. Extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought now cover almost 15% of the total area and are particularly apparent in northern Alabama and northwest Georgia. Puerto Rico is the only part of the Southeast that experienced a small reduction in dry conditions. Since several inches of rain is expected along the spine of the Appalachians this week, I expect that we will not see an expansion of drought in the driest areas, but drier conditions in southeastern GA and Florida could see some increased drought conditions in next week’s map. A general pattern shift towards wetter El Nino conditions is starting to occur now and so this week could be the peak of the drought as more rainfall occurs in the next few weeks and months.