Portions of Alleghany  and Bath counties have entered severe drought levels, according to the latest  U.S. Drought Monitor update.

The Drought Monitor was updated on Thursday  morning and severe drought intensity was added to northern Alleghany County and southern Bath County.

Covington and the remainder of Alleghany County are under moderate drought conditions. 

Most of Bath County is listed under moderate drought. The northern portion of Bath that borders Highland County is listed as abnormally dry.

Eleven percent of Virginia is experiencing severe drought conditions, according to www.drought.gov.

Drought intensities are based on soil moisture being well below average and a lack of rainfall. Crop and pasture loss is likely during severe droughts.

Water restriction guidelines could be put in place as well.

The dry conditions also increase the fire risk. Leaves have already started to fall due to the lack of rainfall. The premature leaf drop will give more fuel to fires. The dry ground and breezes will allow fires to ignite easily and spread quickly. Burning is highly  discouraged during the dry conditions.

On Thursday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency due to the prolonged shortage of rainfall.

According to a press release from the governor's office, across the state, West Virginia has received 2-5 inches less rainfall than normal over the past 90 days. There are some pockets of 5-7-inch rainfall deficits across the southern half of the state.

In Covington, only 0.18 inch of rain was recorded in September — the average total for the month is 3.23 inches.

The National Weather Service says there is 50 percent chance of precipitation Sunday night, with rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch possible.

Showers are likely Monday, with a 70 percent chance of precipitation. There is a 40 percent chance of rain Tuesday before sunny skies return to the Highlands Wednesday.

After record-highs in the 90s earlier this week, temperatures across western Virginia are expected to cool from a high of 73 on Sunday to a low of 45  Tuesday night.