Drought Information for Central Alabama
Updated July 1st, 2016


 

Portions of Northeast and East-Central Alabama Now Indicated To Be In Severe Drought

Synopsis...

Severe Drought conditions have returned to Northeast Sections of Central Alabama due to recent below normal rainfall. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor now indicates that Severe Drought conditions exist to the right of a line from near Summit to Hayden to Talladega to Sulphur Springs to Mars Hill. Severe Drought is also indicated in East-Central Alabama to the right of a line from near Graham to Ophelia to near Chapel Hill to Oakland. Moderate Drought is indicated along and north of a line from Millport to Bessemer to Rockford to Auburn.  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 below normal rainfall occurred during May across much of Central Alabama and this pattern continued through June.  This has resulted in drought conditions gradually developing across portions of Central Alabama.

 

 Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through June 30th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

25.57

Montgomery

24.96

Anniston

21.28

Tuscaloosa

24.71

Calera

25.53

Troy

           25.34

 

 

Average precipitation expected and departure from normal from January 1st through June 30th:

Birmingham

28.35
-2.78

Montgomery

27.51
-2.55

Anniston

  27.01
-5.73

Tuscaloosa

28.17
-3.46
     Calera

  28.56

 -3.03
      Troy

 27.66

 -2.32

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moistures are running below normal for this time of the year across the northern sections of Central Alabama and near normal across the southern sections.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

The latest  USDA reports indicated that crops are beginning to suffer because of heat stress, and that more rain and cooler weather is needed. Pastures are hurting in some areas, and dry conditions are hampering soybean plantings. 

The latest reports from the USDA (from Jun. 27, 2016):

 

Crop
% Poor or Worse
% Fair or Better
Cattle

 1

99
Pasture & Range

17

83

 Cotton

 4

96

Soybeans

 9

91

Peanuts  0 100

 

 
 

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The fire danger risk across Central Alabama has increased due to the recent rainfall.  Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) generally range above 500 across Central Alabama, and above 600 in some eastern areas.   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 below normal across most of the area following the recent rainfall.

In general most major reservoirs are near their summer pool levels, although some are beginning to show some slight declines since last week.  Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Aabama and levels from June 23rd:

Reservoir
Level for 07/01/2016
Level for 06/23/2016
Weiss
563.0
563.1
Neely Henry
507.1
507.1
Logan Martin
464.1
464.0
Lay
395.9
395.9
Mitchell
311.9
311.9
Jordan
251.5
251.5
R.L. Harris
792.5
792.8
Martin
489.1
489.4
Smith
508.1
509.0
Bankhead
254.6
254.8
Holt
186.5
186.5

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

 

Social Impacts...

Most area reservoir levels are at or near their summer pool levels...although some have fallen slightly since last week.  Currently there is not a threat of municipal water shortages.   

 
Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

High pressure will prevail through the weekend...with mostly dry conditions.  However, by early next week we should begin to transition back to a more typical summertime pattern with hot and humid conditions, and heat induced diurnally based showers and thunderstorms.

The two week outlook...from July 6th through July14th...calls for above normal temperatures below normal precipitation chances.

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

The latest seasonal drought outlook through April indicates that in general drought conditions are expected to persist across areas currently experiencing them in Central Alabama.

 

Update Statement...

This next statement will be issued around Thursday July 14th.

 

 

 


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