Thu., December 29, 2011 3:01pm (EST)

Drought Spreading
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Latest U.S. drought map (image courtesy U.S. Drought Monitor)
Latest U.S. drought map (image courtesy U.S. Drought Monitor)
Climate experts are expanding the number of Georgia counties in extreme drought. Despite recent rains the state remains very dry.

Maps released by the U.S. Drought Monitor this week show the drought growing, with more than half of the state falling into the extreme category.

That’s because the U.S. is in the second year of a La Nina weather pattern where cooling waters in the Pacific shift weather patterns in the U.S. Drought monitor Climatologist John Fuchs says,

“What that means is typically the Southern U.S. all the way from Arizona to Florida is drier than normal during the winter months into the spring, and it’s also warmer than normal.”

Fuchs says conditions are not expected to change quickly, and he expects ground and surface water levels will be worse this spring than last. He says while weather patterns are cyclical, data suggests temperatures seem to be getting warmer in the last decade.