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'Abnormally dry' conditions developing across Central Maryland

"Abnormally dry" conditions have developed across a swath of Central Maryland, after much of the state spent 2012 in some level of drought conditions.

About 22 percent of the state is unusually dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The area stretches from the Washington, D.C., suburbs, up the Interstate 95 corridor to Baltimore and Harford County.

The "abnormally dry" classification is the mildest of five levels of drought conditions the drought monitor assigns.

Up to 11 percent of the state was abnormally dry for a spell in May, but for the most part, there has been a lack of drought conditions across the state since Hurricane Sandy dumped nearly a foot of rain on some parts of the state.

Last spring and summer, however, as much as 98 percent of the state was at least abnormally dry, with more than one-fourth in severe drought, according to the drought monitor.

This year started off relatively wet, or at least close to average rainfall. Rainfall was running ahead of average from mid-June through the end of July, but after 1.13 inches fell at BWI Marshall Airport in August and two-thirds of an inch have fallen so far this month, a rain deficit has grown to about 3 inches.

Nationwide, about 61 percent of the country is at least in abnormally dry conditions. More than one-fourth of the country is in severe drought, or worse.

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