While some areas have gotten flooding downpours over the past week, it has been too isolated and the state is still drying out fast. The latest update from the USDA and NOAA has classified over 85% of the state as abnormally dry. This is up from less than 15% in last week’s report. Parts of Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Somerset and Cambria counties have been declared to have entered a moderate drought. This comprises almost 4% of the state up from none last week. Last year at this time, none of the state was classified on any level of dryness.
The outlook for improvement is not looking good. While moisture from Tropical Storm Fay will bring a steady rain to the far eastern part of the state, and thunderstorms will help some areas in the far west, most of the state will still not have enough rain to help the situation. On top of that, a growing heat wave later next week will help accelerate the evaporation of moisture from the ground.