Drought Information for Central Alabama
Updated August 25th, 2016


 

Severe Drought Easing Somewhat In Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

Severe Drought conditions continue in portions of Central Alabama but have improved some due to recent rainfall. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor now indicates that Severe Drought conditions exist to the left of a line from near Centre to Dearmanville to west of Chandler Springs to Jackson's Gap to Lafayette to Bleecker and also in portions of Shelby and St. Clair Counties.  Severe Drought is also indicated in western portions of Lamar County. Moderate Drought is indicated east of a line from west of Centre to Glencoe to Locust Fork to Woodstock  to Billingsley to Varnons to west of Loachapoka to Phenix City. Moderate Drought is also indicated west of a line from Pickensville to Brilliant to west of Hackleburg.  Remaining areas are indicated to be near normal to abnormally dry.

The Drought Monitor classifies drought within one of these five categories:

D0...Abnormally Dry
D1...Moderate Drought
D2...Severe Drought
D3...Extreme Drought
D4...Exceptional Drought

U.S. Drought Monitor
 

Climate Summary...

In general...most areas received rainfall during the past week from scattered summertime convection across much of Central Alabama. Cumulative rainfall totals in most places averaged from one to three inches although some localized areas received less. This rainfall has resulted in some improvement in the drought conditions found across Central Alabama but has not eliminated it.

 

 Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through August 24th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

35.01

Montgomery

33.04

Anniston

25.86

Tuscaloosa

31.74

Calera

30.83

Troy

          32.64

 

 

Average precipitation expected and departure from normal from January 1st through August 24th:

Birmingham

36.27
-1.26

Montgomery

35.83
-2.79

Anniston

  34.23
-8.37

Tuscaloosa

35.17
-3.43
     Calera

  37.04

 -6.21
      Troy

 37.19

 -4.55

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moistures are running below normal for this time of the year across the northeast sections of Central Alabama and near normal across the remaining areas.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

The latest  USDA reports indicated that crops have shown some improvement in localized areas due to recent rainfall. However the rainfall has come too late to help some crops such as corn. Pastures are still hurting in some areas, and rain has hampered some hay cutting.

The latest reports from the USDA (from Aug. 8, 2016):

 

Crop
% Poor or Worse
% Fair or Better
Cattle

 9

91
Pasture & Range

27

73

 Cotton

 7

93

Soybeans

11

89

Peanuts  0 100

 

 
 

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The fire danger risk across Central Alabama has remained high across the northern half of Central Alabama despite the recent rainfall.  Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) generally range from 400 to 600 across the northern half of Central Alabama and below 400 across the southern sections.   Values above 500 indicate a Severe Fire Danger. The KBDI map to the left is courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

The Alabama Forestry Commission currently reports that there is no Fire Alert or Drought Emergency currently  issued.  However, the State Forester is still urging everyone to use all necessary safety precautions when doing any type of outdoor burning.

 

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Stream flows reported by USGS gages are currently running near normal across the western half of Central Alabama. However, most gages in eastern sections of Central Alabama continue to indicate below normal streamflows.

In general most major reservoirs are near their summer pool levels, although some are beginning to show some small declines. During the past two weeks some small declines have been indicated in reservoirs on the Coosa River.  Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Aabama and levels from August 11th:

 

Reservoir

Level for 08/25/2016
Level for 08/11/2016
Weiss
562.7
563.2
Neely Henry
506.7
507.2
Logan Martin
463.7
464.2
Lay
395.9
395.8
Mitchell
311.8
311.9
Jordan
251.5
251.4
R.L. Harris
791.3
791.4
Martin
488.0
488.1
Smith
503.0
504.1
Bankhead
255.0
254.8
Holt
186.7
186.5

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

 

Social Impacts...

Most area reservoir levels are at or near their summer pool levels...although some are slowly declining due to the dry conditions experienced this summer and low streamflows.  However...currently there is not a significant threat of municipal water shortages.   

 
Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

Weak ridging aloft will prevail into the weekend...and this will keep rain chances on the low side for any one location. Only isolated to widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through the weekend.  Rain chances during the early part of next week will be highly dependent on what happens with the tropical disturbance currently located to the southeast of the Bahamas as it moves to the west-northwest toward Florida and possibly the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The two week outlook...from August 30th through September 7th...calls for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation chances transitioning to near normal precipitation chances.

The longer-range outlook for the remainder of September through November is for above normal temperatures and below normal chances of precipitation.

The latest seasonal drought outlook through November indicates that in general drought conditions are expected to persist across portions of Central Alabama...and possibly expand in coverage.

 

Update Statement...

This next statement will be issued around Thursday September 8th.

 

 

 


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