For the week ending June 21, Exceptional and Extreme drought has spread North and East encompassing more of the state. Areas in North Georgia have seen some relief from recent rains, which those of us in central and south Georgia area now experiencing. The affect of the rains this week will not be known until next week.
As you can see in this map below of Georgia, Columbus is fully engulfed in Exceptional Drought, which is the highest category of drought. I know for a fact areas across the Muscogee county line in Harris county are within this category of drought, however the map does not reflect this. Extreme drought persist just south of the county line northward in to Harris county.
In this next image you can see how far the different categories of drought have spread throughout the state of Georgia, form June 14 through June 21 2011. Hopefully next week we will see these areas move back south, but there is no guarantee.
In this image we see the extent of drought in the southeast. More of Alabama is now experiencing exceptional and extreme drought than at this time last week.
This image shows how much rain has ‘not’ fallen in the water year which begins in October of the year. In Muscogee and Harris counties we are falling short in rainfall anywhere from 8 to 12 inches. Again, the rain this week is not reflected here.
So how much rain do we currently need to bring conditions back to normal ? According to this map, anywhere from 9 to 12 inches.
As mentioned earlier, I know some areas are drier than shown here, while some are wetter. These maps are not that specific and generally are made from data gathered from National Weather Service reporting stations like the one at the Columbus Airport. That data is used for a wide area surrounding it. Case and point: While Columbus had 1.01 inches of rain yesterday, here at the house I had about 0.15 inches. A big difference from point to point which is about 12 miles the way the birds fly, at most.
Hopefully next week we can see some real relief from the drought. The Gulf of Mexico may become active in the next week or so. There were hints of this a week ago, but now more models are coming on board. Here’s a graphic showing a 997 MB Low in the western Gulf on June 30. We shall see.