They include all of Niagara County, most of Erie County, and the western portions of Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties.
The area comprises about three percent of New York's land area.
The monitor issues five classifications based on groundwater and precipitation readings. Erie and Niagara Counties had been classifed as "abnormally dry" -- the lowest classification -- until Thursday's upgrade to moderate.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a joint service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Advice from Ken Brown, host of the Home Garden Show
Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. on WBEN.
Brown recommends people who have access to municipal water systems should simply water those plants, trees, and shrubs that are susceptible to drought.
"Make sure you water thoroughly, water deeply. Don't just stand there with a hose and expect you're going to get enough on by sprinkling over the top. It's not going to do any good," Brown says.
He says property owners really need to get the water down in the ground where the roots are -- and it may only be necessary once a week.
Brown also says he'd like to see some rain in the area sometime soon.
Grand Island Asks For No Llawn Sprinkling, Car Washing
(WBEN) -- Officials in the town of Grand Island are asking residents to voluntarily reduce the amount of water used due to the high demand on the public water system...
Here's the town's official announcement:
"Due to the extremely dry weather and high demand on our public water system, the Grand Island Town Board asks residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption. We are asking that you minimize the amount of water used by eliminating lawn sprinkling and car washing during this dry period. Your cooperation in this effort is greatly appreciated and could help delay or prevent Town-wide mandatory water use restrictions.
Fire Chief Kevin Koch joins Town Officials in urging residents to discontinue any unnecessary use of water, which could further reduce lowered water reserves. Outdoor “recreational” fires also pose increased hazards due to super dry ground conditions and should be put on hold for the time being.
These simple common sense precautions will help your Grand Island Fire Company handle any major fire emergencies that might occur."