The leaves are turning to rust, the atmosphere is about to flip into December, but one thing shows no signs of changing: The region continues to work up a mighty thirst.

Rain deficits keep growing, and with this week's update the U.S. Drought Monitor has more than half the region in "moderate drought," and parts in the "severe" category.

The upper half of Bucks County, a piece of Montgomery County and all of North Jersey are classified as being in severe drought.

The moderate line now covers all of Philly, the entire Main Line, and most of Burlington, Camden, and Delaware Counties.

The respective environmental protection departments on both sides of the river have all eight counties under drought watch.

The government's latest two-week outlook calls for near-normal precipitation, but lately generous, widespread rainfall has eluded the region, and no subsantial rain appears in the forecast for the next several days.

In the eight counties during the last 30 days, rain has been about 40 percent of normal, under more than 2 inches below what it should be.

Rain in Bucks County for the 90-day period has been less than half of normal.