JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) upgraded a large portion of Northeast Florida from an abnormal to a moderate drought.
The upgrade includes Jacksonville, Gainesville and Tallahassee.
The change in status is a reflection of the continuation of enduring dry conditions and extremely warm temperatures across the Southeastern United States through the first week of June.
During a moderate drought, you can reasonably expect damage to certain crops and pastures along with water shortages in affected areas.
With dry conditions most prevalent across North Florida, the USDM's upgrade to a moderate drought covers a vast portion of the Panhandle and inland areas across the First Coast, affecting more than 2 million residents -- 11% of the state's population. A few areas across North Florida still remain under an abnormal drought.
North of the state line in Georgia, conditions are worsening as well. In Southeast Georgia, Coffee and Atkinson counties have been upgraded to a severe drought while surrounding areas were upgraded to a moderate drought.
The USDM is a map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country. The data is updated each Tuesday and released on Thursday. The current map (above) shows the drought conditions on June 4, 2019.