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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Drought is quickly spreading across Alabama.

Statistics released Thursday show about two-thirds of the state is abnormally dry, and about 10 percent of the state is in a moderate drought.

A week of hot, dry weather made conditions worse. Less than half the state was experiencing any type of drought conditions a week ago. The situation also is much worse than this time last year, when rainfall levels were normal and Alabama was drought-free.

One of the driest areas is around Birmingham. Officials have issued an air-quality alert for Jefferson and Shelby counties.

There’s also a moderate drought in the southeastern corner of the state and an area north of Lake Martin in eastern Alabama.

State climatologist John Christy says things could improve since rain chances increase this weekend.

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