Georgia Drought Update – May 12 2012

Since my last Drought report May 3 2012, not much has changed in Georgia. The only change was an area in West Central Georgia, which saw adequate rainfall amounts to move them from Severe drought to Moderate drought conditions.

Here’s the current drought map showing this with the area highlighted in Green:

Here’s a map showing rainfall amounts for the past 14 days for the southeast. You can clearly see the area in west central Georgia that received higher rainfall amounts shaded in Green.

While light rain is currently falling in west Georgia [ 8:36 AM EDT 5/12/2012 ], and more is expected in the coming days, areas in Central and South Georgia that need it most are looking like they will be left out of receiving the heavier amounts.
Here’s a map showing expected rainfall amounts for the next 5 days.

At the current time it’s looking more likely once again the only way to completely wipe out drought conditions in Georgia and much of the southeast will be some type of land falling tropical system. Even then it looks like it would take 2 or more to accomplish this as for much of the southeast, most areas need 18 or more inches of rain, as shown is this map below. If this were to occur in a short time, flooding would be and issue.

Many of the lakes and rivers are seeing impacts from the ongoing drought in Georgia, even at this early time of the year. Here’s a look at lake levels for some of the larger lakes in Georgia, most below full pool and expected to continue falling for the foreseeable future.

LAKE        SUMMER POOL  CURRENT LEVEL    DEPARTURE
IN FEET
ALLATOONA 840 840.92 +0.92
CARTERS 1074 1072.33 -1.67
HARTWELL 660 651.97 -8.03
LANIER 1071 1064.77 -6.23
THURMOND 330 321.79 -8.21
WEST POINT 635 629.89 -5.11

Here’s the latest Drought Information Statement form the National Weather Service in Peachtree City Georgia. Not looking good ….

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
1135 AM EDT THU MAY 10 2012

…LONG TERM DROUGHT INTENSIFIES OVER CENTRAL GEORGIA…

THE SEVERE TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT WILL CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY OVER ALL OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AND EXPAND INTO NORTH GEORGIA DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS. THIS IS DUE TO THE UPPER LEVEL FLOW TRANSITIONING INTO A NEUTRAL WEATHER PATTERN AND THE SUMMER SEASON. THE DROUGHT IMPACTS WILL WORSEN AS VEGETATION DRAWS MORE MOISTURE AND EVAPORATION RATES INCREASE. MOST SMALL LAKE…POND …STREAM AND RIVER LEVELS WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW NORMAL TO SOME RECORD LOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

Here’s the current drought situation for the entire U.S.

Information and Graphics above obtained from various NOAA / NWS websites listed below.

  • US Drought monitor
  • High Plains Regional Climate Center
  • NWS Peachtree City Georgia
  • NOAA National Climatic Data Center
  • NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
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