Severe drought conditions have expanded into southeast Connecticut, according to a Drought Monitor report released Thursday.
About 32 percent of the state has severe drought conditions, including most of Hartford and Windham counties, and northern Tolland County.
Since last week’s report, the eastern half of New London County now has severe drought conditions. Among the effects in severe drought conditions are smaller crops yield, hay is growing slower, trees are brittle and susceptible to insects, water quality is poor; groundwater is declining and irrigation ponds are dry.
Rainfall totals for the year are running between 4 and 9 inches below normal, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.
A moderate drought exists in western New London county, northern Middlesex county, southeast Hartford County, southern Tolland County and northeast Litchfield County.
Helped with rainfall from last Thursday’s strong thunderstorms, there was some improvement since last week’s report. Among the rainfall totals from the Aug. 27 storms were Clinton, 1.50 inches; Wallingford, 1.24 inches; Meriden, 1.16 inches; Niantic, 0.95 of an inch; and Monroe, Essex and Seymour, 0.90 of an inch.
On Wednesday, moderate showers brought measurable rainfall to Litchfield County with nearly 2 inches in Salisbury, 1.87 inches in Canaan and more than an inch in Winsted and Colebrook.
Most of Litchfield and New Haven counties now have abnormally dry conditions, an improvement from moderate drought conditions from a week ago. The panhandle of Fairfield county, from Westport to Greenwich, remains under abnormally dry conditions, the report said.
Nearly 14 percent of the state -including northern Fairfield County, the western border of New Haven County and a sliver of northwestern Litchfield County — have no dry or drought conditions.