Drought Update July 21 2011 – Recent Rains Ease Georgia Drought

Recent Rains during the past week have eased the drought severity in Georgia and across the river in Alabama. Other areas of the southeast have noted little change.

Here’s a graphic showing the difference a week can make. Last week is on the left and current on the right.

As you can see in the above, the area of darkest red which denotes ‘Exceptional Drought’ has been removed from much of Georgia. Only central and southeast-central areas remain in ‘exceptional drought, while much of the state is still in ‘extreme drought’ denoted by the lighter shade of red.

Here is the breakdown of Drought affected areas throughout Georgia. Notice the ‘D4’ drought category which has shrank from 35.52% of the state down to 8.74%.

And here is what the rest of the Southeast is looking like this week on the right, compared to last week on the left.

As mentioned, recent rains are what brought drought relief to areas of Georgia and Alabama. Many areas in central Georgia saw anywhere from a quarter inch to two inches of rain, while some areas in southern Georgia saw upwards of as much as five inches. Here is a graphic showing rain amounts for the past week.

Here is a graphic showing the departure from normal rainfall in Georgia and Alabama in what is known as the ‘water year’ which begins on October 1. Many areas are showing a deficit of eight to upwards of twenty inches in the deep south.

Here is a graphic showing how much rain we still need to bring conditions back to normal. Last Week some areas in Georgia needed over fifteen inches of rain. Those areas now need twelve to fifteen inches. Other areas in central Georgia last week needed six to twelve inches. This area has grown and now needs nine to twelve inches to bring drought conditions back to normal.

Drought stricken areas are not out of the woods yet by a long shot. A couple dry weeks and exceptional along with extreme drought conditions will return to much of the area. We are still waiting on a tropical system to form and move in our direction. Looking at some of the long range models, there is a hint of something in the first week of August forming in the Atlantic that may move or come in our direction. It is still to far out to determine the exact path any system would take, or even if it will form at all. It’s still early in Hurricane season which means we still have plenty of time.

Earlier this week I posted on Facebook a map by ‘Joe Bastardi’ of AccuWeather fame which shows what he thinks will be the highest area of impact for tropical systems this year. If this hold true, we may have better than average chances of a couple of these systems bringing rains to the southeast. Here is the graphic:

Until next weeks drought update, be safe and stay hydrated in this heat.

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