Drought watch update

Be grateful for those seven years of rain (see "Drought? This is a record wet period"), because the dryness definitely is spreading.

The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor -- that's a government-academic partnership that tracks these things, has all of New Jersey, Delaware and a decent chunk of eastern Pennyslvania as at least "abnormally dry."

As New Jersey's climatologist, Rutgers University's Dave Robinson advised earlier in the week, central and coastal New Jersey wound up in the "severe drought" category.

As recently as March 30, not an acre of the entire Northeastern United States was so much as abnormally dry. On June 15, some level of dryness covered about 8 percent of the Northeast; now that's up to almost two-thirds. Here's the table.

All that duly noted, overall water supplies remain decent, and the Delaware River salt line -- an important indicator of creeping drought, is at mile 79 -- which is near the Pennsylvania-Delaware border. Normal for this time of year happens to be mile 79.

Here is a tidy drought summary posted this morning by the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.