We already know this past winter was a warm one for much of the US, but now we’re learning much of the country is also abnormally parched.

According to the US Drought Monitor, a weekly federal tracking of drought, the mild, dry winter has put nearly 61 percent of the lower 48 states in “abnormally dry” or drought conditions — the highest percentage of such conditions since September 2007. In fact, only Ohio and Alaska have been spared.

Even New England, where drought conditions are rare, has been affected, with stream levels at or near record lows. And just six months after Vermont’s wettest August on record, the Drought Monitor now lists all of the state as “abnormally dry.”

Elsewhere, meteorologist David Miskus, of the Climate Prediction Center, says Georgia has been hit the hardest, with more than 63 percent of the state now in the worst two levels of drought.

The southern Plains, which have notorious drought problems, saw some relief because of a wetter-than-average winter, with Texas dropping from 100 percent in the four drought categories in late September to just 64 percent this week. That said, much of western Texas remains in extreme to exceptional drought.

[USA Today]