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Tuesday June 30th, 2015 10:26AM

Heat wave intensifies; drought spreads

By Ken Stanford Reporter
UNDATED - The heat wave has tightened its grip on Georgia and the drought has pushed farther north in the state.

The Weather Channel's John Askins says the Gainesville area can expect some of the hottest weather of the summer Tuesday, with highs in the upper 90s and the heat index in the 105-110 range.

Meanwhile, temperatures at the Gainesville airport have been above normal for this time of year for 51 of the past 52 days... sometimes nine and ten degrees higher than usual and, on occasion, more than that.

As for the drought, it now covers all of Georgia, except for Rabun, Towns and Union counties, and northern portions of Habersham, White, and Lumpkin counties and eastern Fannin County.

The hardest hit areas continue to be middle and south Georgia. Large parts of both are considered either in "extreme" drought or in an "exceptional" drought, which is the most serious of all categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
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