COLDWATER (WTVB) - Branch County maintains the status quo for this week in the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report released yesterday, and that means the county stays in the extreme drought category. That’s next to the worst in the ratings provided through the National Weather Service with the fifth and most dire category being exceptional where you have widespread crop and pasture losses along with emergencies because of shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells. The monitor update indicates while many locations saw periods of heavy rain over the past week, other locations experienced below normal rainfall. Periodic showers may cause some short term improvement, but it has had little impact on the long term drought conditions currently in place. This rainfall also came too late in the season for many area crops, which are reporting catastrophic losses. Water levels on area rivers and lakes are still near record lows for this time of year. With July nearly done, the official rain measurement for the month so far in Coldwater is 1.67 inches, well below the average total for the month of 4.24 inches.
Kevan Browning 8:00 PM - 1:00 AM
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