Drought Update: Current and Outlook for Georgia, Southeast, United States – November 2 2012

Drought in Georgia still persists and gained ground during the dry month of October. While drought has yet to relinquish it’s hold on areas of North and Central Georgia, it’s slowly creeping back into areas of south Georgia. During this time of year folks don’t think much about drought conditions as the lush green vegetation is slowly turning brown and going dormant across the state as fall and winter moves in.

The difference a month makes since my last drought update October 6 2012

Drought still remains in Georgia and is gradually once again becoming worse due to lack of rain as area lakes and streams mainly in central Georgia continue to drop and some are at record lows during this time of year.

Rainfall in Georgia and the United States over the last 30 days

CLIMATE IMPACTS – Georgia

GENERALLY ZERO TO 25 PERCENT OF NORMAL RAINFALL PREVAILED OVER NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA DURING THE PAST 14 DAYS.

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

ATLANTA        36.35         49.76      -13.41         73%
ATHENS         37.30         46.38       -9.08         80%
COLUMBUS       37.20         46.81       -9.61         79%
MACON          32.33         45.74      -13.41         71%
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RESERVOIRS/STREAM LEVELS – Georgia

CURRENT LAKE LEVELS AT THE USACE PROJECTS WERE MAINLY FROM 2 TO 13 FEET BELOW SEASONAL POOL LEVELS. ALL OF THE LAKE LEVELS ARE PROJECTED TO SLOWLY FALL DURING THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS.

LAKE       SEASONAL POOL  CURRENT LEVEL   DEPARTURE
                                           IN FEET

ALLATOONA       832          830.15         -1.85
CARTERS        1073         1071.03         -1.97
HARTWELL        658          645.90        -12.10
LANIER         1071         1061.55         -9.45
THURMOND        329          316.13        -12.87
WEST POINT      634          623.16        -10.84

AVERAGE STREAM LEVELS FOR THE PAST 7 DAYS RANGED FROM AS LOW AS 1 PERCENT ON MUCH OF THE FLINT…OCMULGEE AND OCONEE RIVERS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA…TO AS HIGH AS 65 PERCENT ON THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER IN ATLANTA DUE TO RECENT RAINFALL OR LACK THEREOF.

PLEASE NOTE THAT CREEKS AND SMALLER RIVERS CAN CHANGE QUICKLY DUE TO RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAIN IF IT OCCURS.

Here’s the current drought conditions across the southeast US October 2 thru 30 2012.

Here’s the current drought conditions across the United States October 2 thru 30 2012.

Here’s the Seasonal Drought Outlook November 1 2012 thru January 31 2013

Here’s the Outlook for November Rain and Temperatures as well as the three month outlook fro rain and temperature.

Sources:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/monitor.html

http://water.weather.gov/precip/

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/page2.gif

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=FFC&product=dgt&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

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Georgia Drought Update: Long Term Drought Improves – October 6 2012

Recent rains during the last 14 days brought much needed drought relief for areas in North and Central Georgia. While improvement is seen, drought continues into fall for many in central, west central and southwest Georgia. Northern and southern areas of Georgia including the southeast are now drought free.

Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches fell across areas of North, Central and West Central Georgia in the past 14 days, while amounts of 5 to 8 inches were observed in North Central and Central Georgia where minor flooding occurred. East Central Georgia saw rainfall amounts around a ½ inch to 1½ inches.

The seasonal drought outlook for Georgia hints at ‘some improvement in the coming months. This will mainly be due to lower temperatures and shorter days. However October is the dry month for Georgia. Here’s the current drought conditions across the US and the seasonal outlook ..

One aspect of current drought across the US I would like to bring attention to is the drought in the Northern and Central Plains. While this area has without a doubt experienced extensive drought conditions this summer, Georgia has endured drought conditions all year. I only point this out because most large weather and news companies seem to forget about us down here in the south.

Here is an ‘animated image’ showing drought conditions across the entire US from January 31 2012 through September 25 2012. Notice Georgia has as mentioned endured drought since the beginning of 2012 and if you check my drought archives, you’ll see including multiple years of drought.

We’ll see how things go during fall and winter here in the Georgia as we really missed out once again on wiping drought out with anything tropical.

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.