Drought grips southern states, parches ground, withers crops

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say extreme drought conditions are persisting in parts of Alabama and Georgia, wilting crops and raising the specter of wildfires.

Thursday’s U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report that tracks drought conditions nationwide, showed the worst of the drought in Alabama’s northeast corner, in northwest Georgia and across a swath of land mostly south and southeast of Atlanta.

In northwest Georgia, hard-hit by some of region’s driest conditions, the report said crops have withered.

In North Carolina, the report showed that drought conditions are less severe, but a substantial number of trees are losing their leaves early and “yellowing way ahead of schedule.”

Parts of northern Mississippi are also experiencing a severe drought, though not the extreme conditions being felt in Georgia and Alabama.

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