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Drought update: Alabama a little drier at end of 2021

December 24, 2021 GMT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The state of Alabama is ending 2021 a little drier than a year ago, with more than one-third of the state either abnormally dry or experiencing a moderate drought.

An assessment released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that parts of northern and western Alabama haven’t received enough rainfall. About 35% of the state is too dry, compared to about 24% at the same time last year.

All or parts of about two dozen counties in north Alabama are abnormally dry, and more than a dozen counties have the same problem in west Alabama. More than a half-dozen counties in western Alabama near the Mississippi line are experiencing a moderate drought, according to the analysis.

More than 26,000 people live in the affected areas, which are mostly rural farmland and forests and don’t include the state’s major cities. The most arid regions have dried out only recently, since the entire state was drought-free three months ago.

Conditions in the Southeast are much better than in the West, where an extreme, long-lasting drought is killing vegetation and making wildfires more common in multiple states.