Georgia Drought Update: No Improvement – July 12 2012

Areas of central Georgia to southwest Georgia are still enduring the highest level of drought ‘Exceptional Drought’, which now covers 21.73 percent of the state as of July 10 2012. On June 26 2012 this area was 19.98 percent. Not far behind in this general area is a large area of ‘Extreme Drought’ which now covers 38.44 percent of the state as of July 10 2012. On June 26 2012 this area was 31.72 percent. The state of Georgia as a whole is experiencing drought except for the southeastern most part. 12.29 percent of Georgia is drought free as of July 10 2012, slightly worse than on June 26 2012 which showed 13.91 percent of Georgia drought free.

While some areas in Georgia have seen rain, others have not. Compounding the lack of rainfall during the past couple of weeks was the heatwave that swept through much of the south.

Here are the current drought conditions in Georgia. June 26 on the left and July 10 on the right.

Here’s a look at drought conditions throughout the southeast. June 26 on the left and July 10 on the right.

Here’s a panel showing Departure from Normal Precipitation Top Left, Normal Precipitation Top Right, and Observed Precipitation Bottom.

Here is the current Drought severity Index for the entire U.S. on the left and the amount of Precipitation needed to bring drought conditions to near normal on the right. Much of the country is experiencing drought conditions at this time, but this is not something we have not seen before in past years.

Here is the latest Drought Outlook for the U.S., It’s not looking good during the next few months.

For us in the south and southeast we have the potential for some drought relief much like Florida saw recently. We can hope for a tropical system to move through the area in the coming months.

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

Record Breaking Heat in Georgia and Alabama June 29 thru July 1 2012

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
0432 PM EDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT COLUMBUS…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 105 DEGREES WAS SET AT COLUMBUS SO FAR TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 99 SET IN 2007.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
0432 PM EDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT ATLANTA…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 105 DEGREES WAS SET AT ATLANTA SO FAR TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 99 SET IN 1954.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
0432 PM EDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT MACON…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 108 DEGREES WAS SET AT MACON SO FAR TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 103 SET IN 1954.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
0432 PM EDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT ATHENS…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 108 DEGREES WAS SET AT ATHENS SO FAR TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 103 SET IN 1927.

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RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
0425 PM CDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT TUSCALOOSA…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 104 DEGREES WAS SET AT TUSCALOOSA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 103 SET IN 1954.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
0425 PM CDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT BIRMINGHAM…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 104 DEGREES WAS SET AT BIRMINGHAM TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 103 SET IN 1954.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
0425 PM CDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT MONTGOMERY…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 101 DEGREES WAS SET AT MONTGOMERY TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 100 SET IN 2007.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
0425 PM CDT SUN JUL 01 2012

…RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT ANNISTON…

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 104 DEGREES WAS SET AT ANNISTON TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 102 SET IN 1954.

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06-30-2012 Atlanta Hartsfield AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 106 °F 105 °F (07-17-1980)

06-30-2012 Columbus Metro AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 106 °F 105 °F (06-29-2012)

06-30-2012 Macon Middle Ga AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 108 °F 108 °F (07-13-1980)

06-30-2012 Helen, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 102 °F 100 °F (07-20-1986)

06-30-2012 Rome WSO AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 107 °F 106 °F (07-17-1980)

06-30-2012 Dallas 7 NE, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 104 °F 104 °F (08-23-2007)

06-30-2012 Sandersville, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 107 °F 107 °F (07-22-1986)

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06-29-2012 Columbus Metro AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 105 °F 104 °F (08-10-2007)

06-29-2012 Athens Ben Epps AP, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 109 °F 107 °F (08-21-1983)

06-29-2012 Dekalb Peachtree, GA High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 103 °F 102 °F (08-22-2007)

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06-30-2012 Russellville #2, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 106 °F 106 °F (08-16-2007)

06-30-2012 Muscle Shoals AP, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 107 °F 107 °F (06-29-2012)

06-29-2012 Gadsden, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 105 °F 105 °F (08-16-1954)

06-29-2012 Huntsville Intl AP, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 106 °F 105 °F (08-16-2007)

06-29-2012 Muscle Shoals AP, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 107 °F 107 °F (08-15-2007)

06-29-2012 Bankhead L&d, AL High Maximum Temp All-Time Record 107 °F 107 °F (07-08-1977)

More record breaking heat across the U.S. here

Georgia Drought Continues; Little Improvement

Many areas in Georgia and Alabama were lucky enough to see some rain the past couple of days. Many did not. The storm complex on June 28 should have, as many hinted including myself, moved through Georgia bringing much needed precipitation. Most of Alabama saw some rain in the form of showers and storms. The west side of Alabama saw more than the east side. Here in Georgia, the southern and east half of the state were the winners.
While the showers and storms fired up just north of my location where a decent amount of rain was reported, my exact location in Harris county saw only a few sprinkles while those south in Muscogee county saw more. Here is a map of the precipitation that fell across the area on June 28. The hand cursor in the expanded view points to my location.

Covering the southeast, little drought improvement can be seen from last week to this week. The areas that did see some drought relief, north Georgia and north Alabama.

In this map below we can see that the northeast corner of Georgia is now out of drought. The coverage of ‘Abnormally Dry’ conditions has shrank, down to 97.42 percent of the state from 100 percent a week ago. Areas experiencing ‘Moderate Drought’ has shrank as well, down to 85.51 percent of the state, from 87.48 percent last week. Areas of the state experiencing ‘Severe, Extreme and Exceptional Drought’ are unchanged from a week ago. Severe Drought still covers 74.91 percent of the state. Extreme drought covers 68.91 percent, while Exceptional drought covers 41.18 percent of the state of Georgia.

As mentioned, little has changed in drought conditions from last week to this week. We still need anywhere from 9 to 12 inches of rain to bring conditions back to normal or, no drought. The map below has not changed for our area during this past week.

What we need is a tropical system to move up from the Gulf of Mexico and sit over the southeast for a few days. This will not end drought conditions completely, but should reduce the coverage of extreme and exceptional conditions. While we did see Tropical Storm Arlene form in the gulf, she did not move north. Arlene is affecting areas well to our south in Mexico and the southern most point of Texas. Brownsville is getting some good and much needed rain.

All is not lost as Hurricane season has only just begun. While the temperature is on the rise and we may see another heatwave, some models are hinting at some relief in the form of rain in the first half of July. We’ll see how that pans out as we get closer to the end of the first week of July.

Side note: With the Fourth of July coming be extra careful shooting off fireworks. It wont take much of a spark to start a fire with current conditions. Some have said they will opt for only shooting off high flying rockets, instead of the type of fireworks that stay on the ground. They say the reason is because the high flying type are out by the time the reach the ground. This is FALSE. I have personal experience of this. They DO NOT always go completely out before reaching the ground. While the type of fireworks that are ground huggers may cause a fire, it is usually within your general area and can be put out, while the fire caused by rockets are not.