Extreme temperatures and low rainfall this summer have caused the area to dry up and take on brownish hue.
That's because Jefferson County currently sits more than six inches behind normal levels of rainfall, according to Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon Township.
He said counties across Eastern Ohio are doing fairly well for July, but since January, nine out of 11 counties are 5 inches or more behind in rainfall - the worst being Jefferson and Belmont counties.
"I can't remember seeing levels as low as they are this early," said Hendricks.
Most of Eastern Ohio is currently labeled between the D0, which is abnormally dry, and D1, moderate drought, categories on the United States Drought Monitor, according to Hendricks.
Hancock and Brooke counties in West Virginia are labeled as a D0, but they are dangerously close to changing to a more severe category, according to officials at the NWS.
The levels of the monitor reach the D4 level, but officials indicate a D0 or D1 category means potential damage to crops, streams, pastures and reservoirs with developing or sometimes imminent water shortages.
Hendricks said another factor is that a number of reservoirs haven't received enough rainfall.
"A drought in the winter isn't as big of an issue because there isn't as much activity, but if levels continue to be as low as they are, it could cause problems in late summer to fall with water availability," said Hendricks.
He said river and stream levels in Ohio are at 44 percent of their normal low flow, and that's causing problems. In West Virginia, the low flow is around 50 to 55 percent of normal. Officials said those levels usually don't occur until late August into early September.
"We need more consistent rain. We can recover from it, but right now, around 17 percent of Ohio is in poor to very poor condition for crops," said Hendricks.
And conditions are just getting worse, he said.
Last week, around 31 percent of crop topsoil moisture levels were low, and that's jumped to 53 percent this week. Hendricks said last week nearly 25 percent of moisture levels were in the adequate category - this week, that number had fallen to 10 percent.
He said soil moisture levels throughout West Virginia are running low as well with a deficit occuring in June and July creating abnormally dry, near critical levels throughout the area.
"The heat and dry weather are putting stress on crops and livestock, whether that is wheat, hay, corn, wheat or whatever. Last week, 3 percent of those were in the very poor category, and now it's up to 8 percent, and that could cause rising prices," said Hendricks.
"It will be difficult to rebound from something like this without a major rain event occurring," he said.
While the rain parts of our area received this weekend will help a little, Hendricks said conditions are likely to steadily worsen with no significant improvement expected in the near term.