Posted: 12:24 pm Sunday, June 25th, 2017
By Kirk Mellish
The summer rainy season continued across Florida and southern Georgia, and was enhanced by a slow-moving cold front and developing tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico (which became Tropical Storm Cindy Tuesday afternoon) late in the week. Most locations in Florida and southern Georgia saw 2 inches or more rain during the week, with up to a foot in south-central Florida. A few areas in central Florida and southern Georgia, however, only saw 1-2 inches of rain, thus improvements were limited to 1-category, and with lingering long-term (6-12 months) indices at D1-D2 in the region, a few small areas of D1(L) were left in southern Georgia, along with D0(L) in central Florida and southern Georgia.
According to the USDA/NASS as of June 18, most crop, pasture, and soil moisture conditions were rated either good or adequate in both states. In the rest of Georgia, scattered showers mostly missed the D0-D1 area in central sections (minor changes), but D1(L) was reduced in northern Georgia (Lumpkin County to D0; D1 remained in White County) as enough rain in the western D1 area improved the drought by 1-category.
In northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama, moderate to heavy (2-3 inches) rains along the southern edges of the D0-D1 area were enough to trim away some of the drought and dryness; however, northern sections recorded under an inch, and D0 slightly expanded into extreme southern Tennessee with 60-day deficiencies of 2-4 inches.
A mostly dry and warm week, along with increased summer evapotranspiration and a climatologic wet time of year, led to a general decline of moisture conditions in Oklahoma and Texas. Some areas in the South did see moderate to heavy (1.5-4 inches) rains (eastern sections of Kansas and Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, southern and central Mississippi, and west-central Tennessee), and this resulted in some D0 removal in southeastern Kansas, northeastern and southeastern Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas. The remainder of the changes this week, however, included D0 and D1 expansion, namely in southern, west-central, and Panhandle of Texas, in central and eastern Panhandle of Oklahoma where Oklahoma City has measured only 1.19 inches of rain during May 1-June 20, normally the wettest stretch of weather here (normal about 8 inches). According to the June 18 USDA/NASS report, statewide topsoil moisture rated short to very short rose 14 and 29 points from last week to 49 and 50% in Texas and Oklahoma, respectively, although crop and pasture conditions were still mostly fair to good. With the heat building, this area is primed for rapid deterioration unless rain falls soon.
Just over 238,000 Georgia residents in drought, small pockets in moderate drought: