Georgia Drought Update – May 3 2012

As anticipated, the small area of drought improvement in Northeast Georgia last week, is all but gone this week.

Since my last drought update on April 23 2012, it has been quite dry across much of Georgia. Abnormally Dry conditions continue to cover much of North Georgia, with Moderate drought conditions beginning to creep back in.
Severe Drought conditions continue to hold in areas of Southeast and North central Georgia, ever so slowly creeping towards North Georgia.
Extreme Drought conditions now cover a large area of Georgia from North Central to the state line with Florida.
Exceptional Drought conditions, the highest level of drought, has expanded in Central Georgia while other areas experiencing Exceptional Drought in south Georgia remaining unchanged since my last report.

The overall breakdown on drought conditions in Georgia as of May 1 2012 are as follows:

The entire state of Georgia is experiencing Abnormally Dry conditions, 96.50 %, except for a small area mentioned in North GA.
Moderate Drought covers 88.56 % of the state.
Severe Drought covers 84.28 % of the state.
Extreme Drought covers 70.94 % of the state.
Exceptional Drought covers 25.85 % of the state.

Here’s a graphic showing Drought conditions from April 17 thru May 1 2012

To show how dry it has been in Georgia and much of the southeast, here’s a graphic showing how much rain these areas have seen since the beginning of 2012. Notice the areas of Red in Georgia and Florida; these areas have only received 50 to 25 percent of normal rainfall since the start of the year.

To put the above in perspective, here’s a graphic showing departure from normal rainfall from May of 2011 thru April 2012. Much of Georgia is showing a deficit of 8 inches with areas in southwest Georgia pushing the 20 inch below normal mark.

Here’s a look at precipitation or lack of for select areas around the state of Georgia through May 2 2012.

This first table shows total rainfall for the last 365 days:

LOCATION   TOTAL RAINFALL    NORMAL    DEPARTURE     PERCENT
LAST 365 DAYS VALUE FROM NORMAL OF NORMAL

ATLANTA 32.33 49.74 -17.41 65%
ATHENS 29.11 46.39 -17.28 63%
COLUMBUS 38.40 46.81 -8.41 82%
MACON 28.91 45.75 -16.84 63%

This table shows total rainfall fro the last 90 days:

LOCATION   TOTAL RAINFALL    NORMAL    DEPARTURE     PERCENT
(LAST 90 DAYS) VALUE FROM NORMAL OF NORMAL

ATLANTA 7.53 12.91 -5.38 58%
ATHENS 5.89 12.12 -6.23 49%
COLUMBUS 7.88 13.52 -5.64 58%
MACON 5.30 11.87 -6.57 45%

At this time it’s looking like drought conditions will continue to expand and intensify for Georgia. I expect the same can be said for much of the southeast as I see no reason at this time not to think this. It appears a summer type pattern has set up early this year with scattered hit and miss showers and storms, and as earlier this week in Georgia, above average and record breaking high temperatures. Showers and storms of this type offer little relief for drought stricken areas, and what little rain may fall is quickly absorbed in the dry earth and back into the atmosphere.

Here’s a look at Drought conditions across the rest of the U.S.:

And the latest Drought Outlook released May 3 2012:

For past Drought reports see the Drought Files. From 2007 to current date.

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