Last summer, the talk was all about drought, but then September came along with Floyd, and that talk ended quickly. Since Floyd, we're running, overall, a few inches above average in precipitation.

This chart shows what's known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index. This index measures the long-term moisture supply, and thus it points us to regions of drought. Think of areas in green as being relatively moist over the last several months, while areas in deeper red are in some stage of drought. Much of our area is on the moist side, while areas of severe drought are now confined to parts of the Midwest and Gulf Coast states.

In terms of overall moisture, we're in much better shape here in the Mid-Atlantic states heading into this summer than we were heading into the summer of 1999. The last 6 months of 1998 were very dry, so the stage was already set for drought when little rain fell last year during May, June, and July.

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