Drought conditions have hit states in New England and the Midwest as regions typically accustomed to precipitation have been lacking. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 74% of topsoil in Massachusetts, 66% of Michigan topsoil, and 51% of New York topsoil was rated as having short or very short moisture levels.
Data released from the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 16% of the state of Michigan is in a moderate drought including large parts of Wayne, Jackson, Shiawassee, Saginaw, Bay, Huron, Midland, and Mason counties.
Michigan’s precipitation has been 25% less than average, says Jeff Andresen, state climatologist and co-director Michigan State University’s Enviroweather station.
Meanwhile, moderate drought conditions hit Western New York as well, with more than 41% of the state in a drought. According to The Buffalo News, the region is more than a half-foot below average rainfall, and has experienced warmer than average temperatures.
Fruit grower Tom Kappus of Kappus Farms in Burt, NY, tells The Buffalo News fruit size has suffered this year, but there is a bright side to the heat and lack of rainfall – and that’s with his cherry crop.
“They’re coming out a lot sweeter than they normally do,” he said.
Mark Zitell of Amos Zittel & Sons in Eden, NY, a grower of lettuce, strawberries, and other vegetables, says he has been irrigating more than usual.
“All of the equipment has been running six or seven weeks in a row now,” he told the newspaper.
In Massachusetts, almost 85% of the state is under a moderate or severe drought. Central and Northeast Massachusetts is under a drought watch and Southeast and Connecticut River Valley is under a drought advisory, following four continuous months of dry weather.
In the Southeast, parts of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina are also experiencing drought conditions as well. Nearly 65% of Alabama in extreme to moderate drought and nearly 69% of Georgia in extreme to moderate drought.