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.

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Storm Threat June 28 : Damaging Wind Biggest Threat Today

Looking at maps and radars this morning, the Mesoscale Convective System [MCS] that has already entered northeast Georgia and northwest Alabama should arrive in our area sometime mid afternoon, 2 PM at the latest. However, the system could build out in front of the main line due to outflow, which would bring showers and storms earlier. At the same time it could slow down which I do not expect to happen, or it could speed up, which is a probability. The biggest threat will be winds in excess of 50 MPH. There is also probability of large hail with the stronger storms. We can also expect frequent cloud to ground lightning.

Behind this first round of storms, yet another area of showers and storms have organized closer to the front in Missouri, which will follow the first MCS and bring the threat of damaging winds and hail through the evening. Already this area has formed a large bow on radar which is indicative of strong winds. This should clear our area before midnight tonight.

Below is what the Storm Prediction Center has out-looked for our area today. A slight chane of severe storms with a 15% chance of damaging winds and a 5% chance of hail. Remember when we speak of chances in percentage, this means greater than 100%.

Via the Storm Prediction Center:

A RELATIVELY MOIST AIRMASS CHARACTERIZED BY LOWER/MIDDLE 70S F SURFACE DEWPOINTS WILL REMAIN ALONG/SOUTH OF A SOUTH-SOUTHEASTWARD ADVANCING COLD FRONT. WHILE LARGE SCALE FORCING FOR ASCENT WILL BE MODEST…THE FRONT AND OTHER WEAK/RESIDUAL BOUNDARIES WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A DIURNAL UPSWING OF TSTMS THIS AFTERNOON WITHIN A WEAKLY CAPPED AND MODERATE TO STRONGLY UNSTABLE AIRMASS WITH MLCAPES OF 2500-4000 J/KG. WITH TIME…MODERATE NORTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT /15-30 KT 500 MB/ MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE ORGANIZATION/PROPAGATION OF SOUTH-SOUTHEASTWARD MOVING CLUSTERS WITH A SOMEWHAT FOCUSED DAMAGING WIND THREAT THROUGH LATE AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING.

You can view radars from the area here on the Local / Southeast / US Radar page. Or use your favorite source.

Disclaimer: I am not a Meteorologist. The above is for informational purposes and should not be used to make life saving decisions.

Clouds & Storms on June 25 – Pictures

These clouds were north of my location in Cataula, GA. [Harris County]. They were producing lightning and rain, none of which made it to my location. Earlier around 5:15 PM EDT, a lone thundershower to my west moved south through Columbus. As it moved through Columbus, it turned in to a thunderstorm with strong winds causing some to lose power.

The lake in these pictures is now down about 2 feet, due to the drought.