Georgia Drought Update: Getting Worse – July 30 2012

In my last drought update – Georgia Drought Update: No Improvement – July 12 2012 the title said it all, ‘No Improvement’. That being said, this months update should come as no surprise, the drought in Georgia is getting worse.

While many areas in Georgia have seen afternoon and evening summer type pulse showers and thunderstorms, they have done little to overcome the recent heat and soil moisture evaporation. Even here in Cataula where I’m running above average in precipitation for the month of July, the creek on the back 40 remains dry. At my location in Cataula, GA. I’ve received 50.63 inches in the last 365 days, And 6.79 inches of rain for July 2012 as of July 29th, both above average for my area.

Here are the stats from around the state.. Columbus represents my area as I am Just north.

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

ATLANTA 34.52 49.71 -15.19 69%
ATHENS 35.68 46.35 -10.67 77%
COLUMBUS 38.29 46.77 -8.48 82%
MACON 32.01 45.68 -13.67 70%

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
115 PM EDT THU JUL 26 2012

LONG TERM DROUGHT CONTINUES OVER MOST OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AND EXPANDS INTO PORTIONS OF NORTH GEORGIA.

THE SEVERE TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONTINUES OVER MOST OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AND EXPANDS INTO PORTIONS OF NORTH GEORGIA. THE UPPER LEVEL FLOW REMAINS IN A NEUTRAL WEATHER PATTERN FOR THE SUMMER SEASON. THE DROUGHT IMPACTS HAVE GRADUALLY WORSEN IN AREAS OF BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL. SOME VEGETATION HAS GONE DORMANT DUE TO THE LACK OF MOISTURE AND THE INCREASE IN EVAPORATION RATES. MOST SMALL LAKE…POND…STREAM AND RIVER LEVELS WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW NORMAL TO SOME RECORD LOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

A FEW DAYS OF RAIN BROUGHT SOME RELIEF TO THE DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES OCCURRED OVER MOST OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AND 2 TO 5 INCHES OVER MOST OF NORTH GEORGIA DURING THE PAST 14 DAYS. THE DRIEST AREA WITH LESS THAN ONE INCH OF RAIN WAS FROM MACON TO SPARTA TO LYONS TO ABBEVILLE.

THE RAINFALL DEFICITS AND SOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED IN AREAS THAT RECEIVED 2 INCHES OR MORE DURING THE PAST TWO WEEKS. HOWEVER…THE AREAL COVERAGE OF THE SEVERE TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT AREA INCREASED TO THE NORTH. THE AREA IS GENERALLY SOUTH OF A LINE FROM NEAR ROME THROUGH CANTON AND GAINESVILLE TO TOCCOA.

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Here’s a look at the drought in Georgia. July 10 on the left which was the focus of my last drought report [ linked above ] and the current drought report in Georgia as of July 24 2012. As you can see, drought conditions in Georgia have worsened since the last report as explained in the above report.

While were on Georgia drought, here are the current Lake levels for some of the more important lakes in Georgia as of 942 AM EDT SUN JUL 29 2012

LAKE        SUMMER POOL  CURRENT LEVEL    DEPARTURE
IN FEET
ALLATOONA 840 836.96 -3.04
CARTERS 1074 1073.79 -0.21
HARTWELL 660 649.68 -10.32
LANIER 1071 1063.27 -7.73
THURMOND 330 319.65 -10.35
WEST POINT 635 628.59 -6.41

Here are the forecast Lake levels for the next 4 weeks. All below summer full pool.

Here’s another image showing current drought conditions in Georgia as of July 24 2012.

Here are drought conditions across the Southeast. Current on the right.

Here’s a look at drought severity across the entire United States as of July 24 2012 on the right and 2 weeks ago in the left. Only 19.92 percent of the country is drought free.

I’m still waiting on the tropics to become active again. While the Hurricane season saw an early start with named storms in both May and June, it looks like July 2012 will go by without a named storm for the first time since 2009. We can still hope a tropical system will bring drought relief in August to Georgia and other areas of the southeast.

For all information Current to 2007 on Drought in Georgia, See The Drought Files.

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