As you may have noticed, it’s been unusually dry here in the Granite State for the past few months.

Thunderstorms Thursday afternoon provided some much-needed rain, but federal officials recently classified most of central and southern New Hampshire as being in a moderate drought.

David Miskus specializes in drought monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about what this all means.

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

Much of the state is officially in a drought.

WMUR reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture places central and southern New Hampshire in a moderate drought.

Northern areas of the state are in abnormally dry conditions.

Concord is running 5 inches below the average precipitation, going back to March 1.

River levels are also running lower than average.

Dry conditions have led to high fire risk across the state.

NOAA George E. Marsh Album

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Could it really be true that we are in the midst of the worst drought in the United States since the 1930s?                                                         -- Deborah Lynn, Needham, MA

Widespread Drought Affects New Hampshire

Jul 18, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dietsch/3625875461/">Michael Dietsch</a> / Flickr

The country is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. Although New Hampshire has avoided the brunt of the drought damage, the loss of crops from the Midwest has far reaching consequences.

Flikr Creative Commons / trubh

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association released temperature data for the past six months on Monday. Reports that NOAA’s data shows this to be hottest first half of the year yet in the Granite state.

New Hampshire wasn’t the only state to break records: all told twenty-eight states had their hottest first six months on record, and for another 15 states the temperatures ranked in the all-time top-ten.

A devastating drought consumed nearly all of Texas in 2011, killing livestock, destroying agriculture and sparking fires that burned thousands of homes. It was the worst single-year drought in the state's recorded history.