Georgia Drought Update: Long Term Drought Continues – September 21 2012

Severe to Exceptional Drought conditions continue for most of Central and areas of North Georgia. Little relief is expected in the coming month or so but there is hope. At this time a weak El Nino is beginning to show itself and is expected to persist through the remainder of the year. During an El Nino in the fall and winter months, precipitation generally increases along the gulf and the southeast. Combined with cooler temperatures and lower sun angle areas can expect to benefit from the increase in moisture due to less evaporation.

While we wait on El Nino to set up and bring much needed moisture, drought continues to worsen in areas of Georgia that have seen little to below normal rainfall. In the last 14 days some areas of Georgia saw much need rain generally in the 1 to 2 inch range, while areas of North Georgia saw 3 to 5 inches. While this was welcomed it did little in the way of drought relief where is was most needed.

As of September 20 2012 departure from normal rainfall or deficit for select areas.

Atlanta down 12.86 inches
Athens down 6.17 inches
Columbus down 8.56 inches
Macon down 10.29 inches

Georgia lakes haven’t fared much better

Allatoona down 6.23 Feet
Carters down 2.50 feet
Hartwell down 11.95 feet
Lanier down 9.52 feet
Thurmond down 12.08 feet
West Point down 8.34 feet

The outlook for October shows hints at above normal temperatures and equal chances of above of normal rainfall. The extended outlook [90days] hints at above normal temperatures heading into winter and Above normal rainfall due to the expected El Nino pattern [mentioned above].

Current drought conditions for Georgia and the Southeast US as of September 18 2012

Here’s a look at rainfall across Georgia and the Southeast form the last 30 days

Here’s how much rain is needed to End drought in 3 months [left] and see relif [right]

Here are current drought conditions across the US

How much rain is needed across the US

Drought outlook September through December 2012

There is still a chance the southeast ‘could’ see a tropical system bring needed rains albeit getting slimmer as the season progresses and El Nino sets up. Hurricane season ends November 30. Looking more like drought will continue into 2013 and from there we’ll just have to watch.

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