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Drought across much of Maryland turned “severe” early this week, but a soaking rainfall Wednesday likely provided some relief.

As of Tuesday morning, severe drought stretched across Anne Arundel and Howard counties, southern Baltimore County and Baltimore City and into southern Harford County, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Severe drought also covers the Washington suburbs, Southern Maryland and all of the middle and upper Eastern Shore.

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Carroll County and the rest of Baltimore and Harford counties were still experiencing “moderate” drought, according to the map released Thursday.

The drought map is likely to change when it is updated next week, though, National Weather Service meteorologists said. A widespread 1-2 inches of rain fell across the state Wednesday, “the first substantial rain in some areas in nearly two months.”

The 1.29 inches of rainfall at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was the most for a single day at the region’s point of record in seven months.

“Any changes to drought status as a result of this rain will be reflected in next week’s [drought report],” the meteorologists wrote Thursday.

Still, they noted, it may not be enough to completely erase a drought that developed quickly amid late summer heat and unusually dry weather. The rainfall deficit since Sept. 1 is still close to 4 inches in many areas, with rainfall “around a third of what is typical” for the past month and a half, they said.

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