The state’s Drought Task Force met Thursday for the second time this year, and just the second time since 2002, to discuss what officials say are worsening drought conditions around most of the state, the Maine Emergency Management Agency said.

Agency Director Bruce Fitzgerald said the drought has been building for about three years and isn’t going to go away overnight. The southern portion of the state continues to be the most severely affected – with groundwater levels in Sanford and Poland the lowest on record for July and August – and severe drought conditions are now expected to reach as far as Wiscasset.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service’s office in Gray and Caribou said that the northern part of the state is seeing above-average levels of precipitation, but most other areas are seeing a deficit.

Weather forecasters said temperatures are expected to be above normal with below-normal precipitation levels for the next few weeks.

Groundwater basins in northern Maine are at normal or near normal levels, said Nicholas Stasulis, a data section chief for the U.S. Geological Survey. Basins in the southern parts of the state, however, are continuing to drop and are already low or very low.

“Surface water conditions are generally below normal to a moderate hydrologic drought for the southern two-thirds of the state,” Stasulis said in a statement. “Groundwater levels in Sanford and Poland are the lowest on record for the months of July and August.”

Officials from the Department of Agriculture said the state’s potato and blueberry crops are doing well, but there are some smaller farm operations that are experiencing difficulties. Most counties in Maine reported problems with wells, irrigation ponds and/or crops.

The task force said no restrictions have been placed on water usage, but officials encouraged people to take steps to use water wisely. Town offices should be contacted if someone is experiencing dry wells or other drought related problems.

The task force is expected to meet again in October.