COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The U.S. Drought Monitor publishes a weekly tally of rainfall deficits. In early October, more than 80 percent of Ohio is abnormally dry, and a little more than 12 percent of the state is in a moderate drought — primarily the southwestern counties and locations along the Ohio River.

The developing drought comes on the heels of the second warmest September on record in many locations around the state, which was also among the driest. The drought intensified during a record early October heat wave that saw the thermometer soar into the low to mid-90s across much of the state Oct. 1-3.

On Oct. 3, the governor of West Virginia declared a state of emergency for all of that state’s 55 counties, where a severe drought has enveloped the southern part of the state and moderate drought persists elsewhere. Portions of the Ohio Valley are currently experiencing low water conditions on rivers and streams, and an increase in wildfires, and diminished water for livestock.

Welcome rainfall on Oct. 6-7 totaled about a quarter-inch in central parts of the state, but 1 to 2 inches in the southeastern counties, putting a dent in the dry conditions.