Central Maryland now in agricultural drought
Most of Central Maryland, incuding Baltimore and the surrounding counties, are now, officially, experiencing a moderate agricultural drought (tan on the map), according to the Drought Monitor map released Thursday by NOAA.
(NOTE TO READERS: The map above will update when new Drought Monitor maps are posted in new entries above, so data on the map may no longer correspond with the text in this post. Be sure to compare the date on the map with the date of the post.)
Portions of southern Anne Arundel County, Calvert and small sections of Prince George's, Charles and St. Mary's counties, are coping with severe drought (orange), according to the map.
Only Garrett County continues to enjoy normal conditions. The rest of the state (yellow)is rated as "abnormally dry."
In all, 64 percent of Maryland is now classified as being in drought, up from 37 percent last week. About 4 percent is in severe drought for the first time this year.
The drought data is compiled from a variety of data sources, including measurements of rainfall, streamflow, soil moisture and plant health. Although portions of the state are experiencing agricultural drought conditions, water supplies have not yet fallen enough to place the region in a hydrological drought.
Baltimore's reservoirs still hold ample supplies. But stream flows have declined, and some are now running well below normal (orange and cranberry dots on the map, above). A few are at record lows (red dots) for this time of year. And, ground water levels are falling, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.