Alabama, Mississippi, Florida Declared Drought Free

Alabama and Mississippi are completely free from drought for the first time in more than a year.

A federal assessment released at the end of June showed rains eliminated a dry spell that began in April 2016, the last time Alabama was totally drought-free.

Days of heavy rains from Topical Storm Cindy helped, and now only slivers of northwest Alabama and northeastern Mississippi are considered abnormally dry. That’s a step below being in a drought.

The worst period of dry weather was last fall, when the entire state of Alabama was in a drought for an eight-week period that began in late October.

Statistics from the National Drought Mitigation Center show conditions have improved steadily since then.

Northeast Georgia still has a small area experiencing drought, and rainfall is considered normal in Louisiana.

Heavy rains throughout the month of June also wiped out drought conditions across Florida.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report , the U.S. Drought Monitor determined that severe and “abnormally dry” drought conditions afflicted large swaths of the state by the end of May.

A new drought monitor map of Florida released at the end of June showed no dry conditions anywhere in the state.

Drinking water supplier Tampa Bay Water said June’s rains dramatically reduced daily water consumption across the region and returned most rivers to normal levels.

According to the National Weather Service, 7.65 inches of rain fell this month at Tampa International Airport, compared to 1.48 inches throughout the month of May.

State officials said over 390 square miles (1,010 square kilometers) were burned in roughly 2,500 wildfires during the drought.

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