Over half of the United States is experiencing drought conditions for the fourth week in a row, a weather watchdog group said on Thursday, CNN reported.
According to the US Drought Monitor, warmer than seasonal temperatures combined with lack of rain is squeezing the moisture out of the soil and drying out plants.
The drought is occurring in all regions of the country as the heatwave continues.
Parts of the West Coast and California have been in a multi-year dry period but the drought has even reached the Northeast, with what is being termed a “flash drought” increasing in scope throughout New England states.
Dry conditions in Northeastern states have led to moderate to severe drought conditions in New York City, the Drought Monitor said.
"Short-term moderate and severe drought continued to expand, especially in the New York City area, New Jersey, and New England, where rainfall was sparse and temperatures were a few degrees above normal," according to the Drought Monitor.
The expanding drought has begun to have an impact on water levels in the worst hit regions, with officials telling residents to watch their water usage.
In mid-July, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued a rare summer weather warning, urging residents to watch their water usage in case the drought was “prolonged.”
Weather experts believe the warn temperatures will continue with "temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal across the Northeast and New England on Thursday afternoon, where it will feel like the upper 90s and 100s," CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said.