Georgia drought update 

Posted: 5:54 am Friday, April 14th, 2017

By Kirk Mellish

The stormy weather of last week has helped ease the drought, but it’s far from gone as you can see in the maps below.

In north-central Georgia, recent rain merited a broad one-category improvement in the drought depiction, while conditions deteriorated one-category (from D0 to D1) in extreme southeastern parts of the Peach state.

Widespread one-category deterioration was rendered across the central and southern Florida Peninsula this week. A broad expansion of severe drought (D2) was made in this area, based on Percent of Normal Precipitation (PNP) values less than 50-percent since the beginning of the Water Year (Oct 1, 2016), and on wildfire potential. There were corresponding adjustments made to the D0 and D1 lines as well. One small area of the state that actually saw some improvement in conditions was in the northern part of the Peninsula, which received 3-4 inches of rain just beyond the data cutoff time last Tuesday. Accordingly, the strip of D1 stretching across Levy and Alachua Counties was removed.

In Alabama, several small improvements were made in the north-central portion of the state based on recent precipitation. In general, climatology of median stream flows is now on the decline, suggesting even if actual stream flow discharges are reduced somewhat, they may still be fairly close to normal. An expert observer in the state noted little to no water seepage from exposed limestone bluffs and other outcrops, and road-cuts, from the winter and early spring rains that have deeply soaked the ground above.

In North Carolina, several small adjustments were made to the drought depiction this week. Some of the D1 near and northwest of Asheville (counties of Buncombe and Madison) was trimmed away.

In South Carolina, the D0 line was removed from the Columbia area in the central part of the state, while widespread one-category improvements were rendered across the Upstate region which generally received 1-4 inches of rain this past week. Now that we are moving into a climatologically drier and warmer period, along with increased evapo-transpiration, these short-term gains may be short-lived.

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Georgia lake levels