DROUGHT IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC AND THE CHESAPEAKE-TRI-STATE REGIONS
June 8, 1999 Severe
drought intensified in the Southeastern U.S. during the spring
months. Precipitation over the South Atlantic river basin (which
covers the area from eastern Mississippi to North Carolina and
Florida) was below normal for 10 of the last 13 months, with
February through May being persistently dry. Based on preliminary
data, February-May 1999 ranked as the fourth driest such four-month
period since 1895.
The Mid-Atlantic region experienced rapidly deteriorating conditions this spring. Based on preliminary data, the three states in the Chesapeake Bay area (Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware) had the 12th driest April-May on record in 1999. A wet winter brought temporary relief, and resulted in the year-to-date (January-May) ranking only 39th driest since 1895. But in the broader picture, this region has been suffering from drought since last summer. Eight of the last 11 months have been drier than normal, with July 1998-May 1999 ranking as the second driest July-May on record. This follows the wettest July-May (1997-98) in this region.