Drought Information for Central Alabama
Updated July 14th, 2016


 

Portions of Northeast and East-Central Alabama Continue to Be In Severe Drought

Synopsis...

Severe Drought conditions continue in portions of Northeast and East-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 Centre to Asheville to Odenville to Talladega to Ragland to Heflin to Ashland to Lanett. Severe Drought is also indicated in northwest portions of Central Alabama to the right of a line from near Shottsville to Brilliant to Guin to near Vernon.  Moderate Drought is indicated along and north of a line from Livingston to Demopolis to Clinton to Berry to Tuskegee to north of Pheonix City.  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 and into July. Even though there has been some rainfall across the area during the past week it has not been widespread or heavy enough to produce any significant improvement in the drought conditions found across Central Alabama.

 

 Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through July 13th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

28.47

Montgomery

28.64

Anniston

22.85

Tuscaloosa

26.06

Calera

25.93

Troy

           28.33

 

 

Average precipitation expected and departure from normal from January 1st through July 13th:

Birmingham

30.40
-1.93

Montgomery

29.83
-1.19

Anniston

  28.95
-6.10

Tuscaloosa

30.13
-4.07
     Calera

  30.56

 -4.58
      Troy

 30.14

 -1.81

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. Statewide stress on cattle and pasture and rangelands has also increased during the past two week.

The latest reports from the USDA (from Jul. 10, 2016):

 

Crop
% Poor or Worse
% Fair or Better
Cattle

 5

95
Pasture & Range

25

75

 Cotton

 5

95

Soybeans

17

83

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 from 300 to 600 across the northern two-thirds of Central Alabama, and 100 to 300 in 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 below normal across most of the drought area despite the recent rainfall...although a few gages in this area have at least temporarily returned to near normal. However...streamflows will quickly begin to decline again if additional rainfall does not occur.

In general most major reservoirs are near their summer pool levels, although some are beginning to show some slight declines...especially in the Tallapoosa River Basin.  Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Aabama and levels from July 1st:

Reservoir
Level for 07/14/2016
Level for 07/01/2016
Weiss
563.2
563.0
Neely Henry
507.2
507.1
Logan Martin
464.2
464.1
Lay
395.9
395.9
Mitchell
311.9
311.9
Jordan
251.7
251.5
R.L. Harris
792.1
792.5
Martin
488.5
489.1
Smith
506.7
508.1
Bankhead
254.9
254.6
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 significant threat of municipal water shortages.   

 
Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

Weak troughing aloft will prevail into the weekend...allowing for periodic weather disturbances to bring scattered showers and thunderstorms to portions of Central Alabama.  However, by early next week upper level ridging is forecast to increase over the central portions of the nation and this will bring a return to hotter conditions and somewhat lower chances  for rain back to the area.

The two week outlook...from July 19th through July 27th...calls for above normal temperatures near normal precipitation chances transitioning to 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 28th.

 

 

 


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