A third of Maryland now in moderate drought
Weeks of unusually hot weather and scant rainfall have made nearly all of Maryland, including Baltimore, abnormally dry, according to the weekly Drought Monitor report compiled by the University of Nebraska. And last week's report shows that more than a third of the state had slipped into "moderate" agricultural drought conditions, an indication that some crop damage is occurring.
The worst of the dry weather has hit Southern Maryland, from northern Anne Arundel County to St. Mary's County, as well as the Lower Eastern Shore, all now classified as being in moderate agricultural drought.
The classifications are worked out through a complex index system that incorporates a variety of inputs, including rainfall, stream flow, soil moisture and plant health. This is the first time Maryland has seen any drought conditions since last October. And, the percentage of the state affected by the current conditions is the greatest since mid-April of last year.
As warm and dry as it's been, however, and as brown as many lawns have become, the condition do not yet constitute a hydrological drought. For the Baltimore region, especially, water supplies are ample. At last check, the city's three reservoirs, which also serve much of the surrounding counties, stood at 97 percent of capacity.