Georgia Drought Update – February 2 2012

Some changes in Georgia’s drought situation since my last update on January 5 …. some good, some bad.

The northern areas of the Georgia have continued to see adequate rainfall to keep drought conditions at bay.
The central areas of the Georgia while having some good rainfall at times continues to see drought conditions albeit to a lesser extinct in west central Georgia, which is now in a severe drought down from extreme drought. The remainder of central Georgia is still experiencing Extreme drought conditions.
The southern areas of the Georgia have worsened. Most areas of south Georgia are now seeing continued severe drought with a large area now beginning to experience Exceptional Drought conditions, since my last update on January 5 2012.

Here’s a graphic showing drought conditions in Georgia from January 3 2012 through January 31 2012 Via the U.S. Drought Monitor and their report concerning Georgia Drought.

In Georgia, the sharp contrast between northern drought-free areas and southern Exceptional Drought (D4) further intensified. In northern Georgia, additional showers – albeit light (amounts generally less than an inch)- kept soils favorable moist. Meanwhile, little if any rain fell across southern Georgia, where Exceptional Drought was expanded to correspond with the greatest 6-month rainfall departures (locally less than 50 percent of normal) and the lowest streamflows (5th percentile or lower).

Locally at my homestead in West Central Georgia, I have had some good rain in the past 6 months. August 2011 – 3.52″, September 2011 – 8.33″, October 2011 – 1.36″, November 2011 – 3.32″, December 2011 – 6.17″, and January 2012 – 6.63″, for a total of 29.33 inches of rain. The normal amount of rain for my area is 21.12 inches for this same six month period. At this time I have a surplus of 8.21 inches locally. I would say my homestead is out of drought, although not reflected in the graphic above as they are not that precise.

Here are rainfall deficits for the last 365 days from select areas in Georgia via NWS Peachtree City, GA

DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL THROUGH 02/01/2012:

ATLANTA HARTSFIELD-JACKSON AP: -8.67
ATHENS BEN EPPS AP: -10.31
COLUMBUS METRO AP: -5.32
MACON MIDDLE GA REGIONAL AP: -12.72

Here’s a look at drought conditions over the entire southeast ..

Here’s a graphic showing the departure from normal precipitation for 2011 via AHPS Precipitation Analysis

And the current year to date 2012 departure from normal precipitation.

Here’s a graphic showing additional precipitation needed to bring conditions back to near normal. For the local area, we still need anywhere from a Trace to 12 inches of rainfall. As shown in the above text [rainfall deficits for the last 365 days], The closest reporting station to my homestead is Columbus which is reporting a deficit at this time of -5.32 inches. Areas to our south need 9 to 12 inches. Graphic via Climate Prediction Center

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