- Associated Press - Friday, October 14, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A new assessment shows all of Alabama is now abnormally dry as drought conditions spread across the state.

The latest update from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows arid conditions have spread into southwest Alabama, where rainfall was previously considered normal. And the drought in northeast Alabama is worsening.

An extreme drought covers nearly all of the state’s most populous area around Birmingham. The agency estimates that 3.9 million people live in drought-plagued areas of the state.

October is historically the state’s driest month, but drought conditions are far worse in 2016 than they were last year.

The Alabama Forestry Commission already has banned outdoor burning because of the dry weather. Forecasters say there isn’t much rain in the forecast in coming days.

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