#Georgia #Drought Update – Conditions Worsen – November 21 2012

Don’t let the cooler weather fool you. Lack of rain in Georgia increases drought coverage and intensity.

Since my last Drought Update November 2 2012 Georgia has remained dry. Here at the homestead in Cataula, GA. I’ve recorded 0.68 inches of rain since November 1st to date. Since October 1st I have recorded 1.98 inches of rain to date. On October 30th 2012 80.77% of Georgia was experiencing some form of drought. As of November 20th 2012 drought coverage has spread and now 93.07% of Georgia is experiencing drought conditions. Areas of Georgia currently without drought are the Northwest and Southeast corners. Middle and West Central Georgia are the hardest hit with drought and currently experiencing ‘Extreme to Exceptional’ drought conditions.

Current Drought conditions on right compared to October 30th on left.

Rainfall in Georgia for the last 30 days as of November 21 2012.

Percent of normal rainfall year to November 20 2012

Rainfall needed to bring conditions back to normal [no drought]. Georgia needs anywhere from a Trace upward to 12 inches.

CLIMATE IMPACTS – Georgia

GENERALLY 10 TO 90 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        37.22         49.73      -12.51         75%
ATHENS         37.22         46.36       -9.14         80%
COLUMBUS       37.54         46.77       -9.23         80%
MACON          32.89         45.72      -12.83         72%

RESERVOIRS/STREAM LEVELS – Georgia as of Nov. 21

CURRENT LAKE LEVELS AT THE USACE PROJECTS WERE MAINLY FROM 1 TO 12 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       829          828.52         -0.48
CARTERS        1072         1070.13         -1.87
HARTWELL        657          645.83        -11.17
LANIER         1071         1059.28        -11.72
THURMOND        328          315.09        -12.91
WEST POINT      633          622.98        -10.02

U.S. Drought outlook November 15 2012 thru February 28 2013

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 – June 8 2012

Before I get to the current drought situation in Georgia and the southeast, I would first like to mention the possibility of some good rain heading in this coming week. Without going into great detail of the approaching system, areas in the Southeast may see some high accumulation rates beginning Today [6/8/2012] through Thursday of next week. Some of the higher rain totals predicted will occur along the Gulf coast, seeing possibly as much as 10 inches of rain.

Here’s the 5 day outlook from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center [HPC] valid from 8 Pm Thursday thru 5 PM Tuesday evening June 15 2012. There is the potential some areas will have flooding issues through next week.

The NWS Peachtree City, GA mentions precipitation approaching 4 inches in areas of West Central Georgia. The NWS Huntsville, AL is in agreement mentioning 3 to 4 inches possible for northern Alabama areas.

Drought Impacts from Tropical Storm Beryl

In my last Drought update on May 25, 2012, I mentioned the possibility of a Tropical System of some type impacting the areas of Georgia and Florida. Other areas in the Southeast also saw welcomed rains from that system known as Tropical Storm Beryl.

from the Drought Monitor Archives-Contiguous U.S. MAy 29 2012 – Tropical Storm Beryl formed on May 25 about 300 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina, and moved southwestward. Beryl made landfall just after midnight on Memorial Day, May 28, near Jacksonville Beach, Florida, then passed near Valdosta, Georgia, before turning toward the north and northeast. Before accelerating away from the coastal Carolinas on May 30, Beryl provided much-needed rain to drought-affected areas from Florida to the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

Here’s a Radar estimated rainfall amount from Moody Air Force Base, GA. Radar Precip Est From 1105 AM EDT Sun May 27 2012 to 0242 AM EDT Tue May 29 2012

While the rain from Beryl did help the drought situation in areas of Southeast Georgia, North Florida, and other areas in South and North Carolina, it did little for North Central, Central and Southwest Georgia. Here’s a graphic showing drought conditions in Georgia. On the left: Drought conditions on May 22 before Beryl. On the right: Current drought conditions as of June 5 2012 after Beryl.

Here’s a graphic showing the Drought conditions in the Southeast for the same time period. Notice North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. On the left: Drought conditions on May 22 before Beryl. On the right: Current drought conditions as of June 5 2012 after Beryl.

Here’s a graphic showing Rain amounts for the last 14 days ending June 7. Notice the area along the east coast down through Florida, where impacts from Tropical Storms Beryl were seen the most.

Here’s what drought conditions look like for the remainder of the U.S. at this time.

And finally, here’s how much precipitation would be required to end drought conditions across the U.S. in 3 months. [NOTE: The end of a drought is defined by a PHDI value of -0.5.]

Update 2 – Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012

Storm Prediction Center RAISES SEVERE PROBABILITIES ACROSS THE BOARD Georgia,Alabama Severe Threat

Update #2 – 8:45 AM EST 1/26/12

Slight Risk area now covers much of the Southeast.

Tornado Probability : The local area is now at a 5% risk of a Tornado from 2% earlier [Scroll down for previous graphic in Update #1]

Wind Probability : The local area remains at a 15% risk of Damaging Winds with the 30% Risk [not instated earlier] now at the Alabama Georgia State line.

Hail Probability : Hail coverage area extended, still to our west. Local area still excluded.

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Update #1 – 5:15 AM EST 1/26/12

Threat remains for Damaging Straigtline Winds and isolated Tornadoes in the local area, East Central Alabama, West Central Georgia.

The Storm Prediction Center continues with the Slight Risk for strong thunderstorms across the area. There is also an area in South Alabama encroaching on central Alabama for the greatest threat for Tornadoes with a 5% probability extending south and west covering the Florida Panhandle and Southeast Mississippi. A 2% probability of a Tornado covers the remainder of our area extending over most of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle and Southwest South Carolina.

As mentioned, the biggest threat will be from Damaging Straightline Winds occurring with the Squall Line as it pushes east. All of the Columbus local area and Phenix City area is now included in a 15% probability of seeing these damaging winds. The 15% also covers most of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle. At this time the threat of Hail is 5% and is contained to our West covering Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle.

From the Storm Prediction Center:

LATEST THINKING IS RENEWED FRONTAL CONVECTION IN THE FORM OF A SQUALL LINE WILL EVOLVE OVER MS/SERN LA BEFORE PROPAGATING DOWNSTREAM ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE GULF STATES AHEAD OF PROGRESSIVE COLD FRONT. STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR CERTAINLY SUPPORTS DAMAGING WINDS AND PERHAPS EVEN TORNADOES WITH DISCRETE SUPERCELLS. OTHERWISE…AIRMASS IS NOT EXPECTED TO DESTABILIZE APPRECIABLY ACROSS THE CAROLINAS DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. THIS SHOULD LIMIT THE SEVERE THREAT TO PERHAPS PORTIONS OF ERN GA/SC DUE TO A DECAYING SQUALL LINE.

From The National Weather Service Peachtree City Georgia

An area of low pressure will move across the Tennessee Valley on Thursday with a trailing cold front approaching the Gulf Coast states. Ahead of this front…abundant moisture will allow for the development of Showers and Scattered Thunderstorms across the forecast area Thursday Afternoon into Friday Morning. Isolated strong to severe storms will accompany this activity overnight with Damaging Winds and Isolated Tornadoes being the primary concerns. With 1 to 3 inch rainfall totals expected in already saturated areas…the flash flooding potential over North Georgia will also need to be monitored closely. Please reference the Flash Flood Watch for more information on potential flooding.

And from the National Weather Service Birmingham, AL

The severe threat will shift into east Alabama Thursday evening. The greatest threat area for severe will be south of I-20 and east of I-65. The severe threat should be over by midnight.

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Original Post – 5:53 PM EST 1/25/2012

I’m not going to downplay the storm system heading our direction. I will also try not to overstate the severity. I am not trying to scare anyone. I just want you to be aware of the possibility of severe weather.

The biggest threat will be damaging Straightline Winds from a Squall line that is expected to form. Within this line, there is the possibility of Isolated Tornadoes.

With that, here is the latest statement from the National Weather Service Peachtree City, GA

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
255 PM EST WED JAN 25 2012

MAJOR CONCERNS WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL BE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY…AND POSSIBLE FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE HIGHLY MOIST ENVIRONMENT AND ASSOCIATED HEAVY RAINFALL. MODELED INSTABILITIES PEAK ACROSS THE CWA 00Z THURSDAY THROUGH 15Z FRIDAY…WITH ML CAPE GENERALLY IN THE 200-300 J/KG RANGE. DECENT SHEAR ACCOMPANIES THESE INSTABILITIES…WITH 0-1KM SHEAR IN THE 25-35KT RANGE AS THE MAIN LINE PUSHES INTO THE STATE…AND INCREASES TO 40-45KTS ACROSS THE CSG AND MCN AREAS BY 06-12Z FRIDAY. JUST BEHIND THESE MAXIMA…MODELED 0-6KM BULK SHEAR APPROACHES 65-75 KTS. AS A RESULT…CAN EXPECT TO SEE LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING AS THE AIR MASS DESTABILIZES AHEAD OF THE MAIN LINE OF CONVECTION. SPC ALREADY HAS MAINLY WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA OUTLOOKED FOR A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE STORMS. WITH THIS STRONG EVENT EVOLVING THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS…IT IS IMPORTANT TO PREPARE NOW. DO NOT LET THESE STORMS CATCH YOU OFF GUARD.

And the latest graphics from the National Weather Service Birmingham, AL

See Previous post Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012 for more information. Contains lead up info.