Wisconsin officially joins the nation's other 49 states Thursday in being classified as having drought-like conditions.
That's the word from Douglas LeComte, senior meteorologist and drought specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's climate prediction center.
The determination comes from the Drought Monitor, a joint task force of meteorologists, climatologists, statisticians and hydrologists from NOAA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Weather Service.
Wisconsin had previously escaped the designation because of a wet, cool spring.
Rusty Kapela, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan, says both Madison and Milwaukee are 1.46 inches below the normal rainfall for the first 23 days of July.
Joseph Lauer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison corn agronomist, says it's like there is a wall extending from the northeast side of Madison to the Illinois border, making that area extremely dry.
He says crop losses could be significant if there is no rainfall within the next week.
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