Drought Information for Central Alabama
Updated August 11th, 2016


 

Severe Drought Persists in Portions of Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

Severe Drought conditions continue in portions of Central Alabama despite recent rainfall. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor now indicates that Severe Drought conditions exist to the right of a line from near Centre to Dadeville to Tallassee to Phenix City and also in portions of Shelby...St. Clair County and western Talladega Counties. Severe Drought is also indicated in northwest portions of Central Alabama to the right of a line from west of Hackleburg to Brilliant to Pickensville. Moderate Drought is indicated west of a line from Bellamy to Olney to east of Brilliant to Hackleburg. Moderate Drought is also indicated east of a line from Garden City to Pinson to Goodsprings to Centreville to Plantersville to Wilsonville to Eclectic to Seale.  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...fairly normal rainfall occurred during the past week across much of Central Alabama. Even though there has been some rainfall across the area during the past week it has not been widespread or heavy enough to produce major improvement in the drought conditions found across Central Alabama.

 

 Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through August 10th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

33.28

Montgomery

32.44

Anniston

25.61

Tuscaloosa

30.04

Calera

29.43

Troy

          30.62

 

 

Average precipitation expected and departure from normal from January 1st through July 27th:

Birmingham

34.52
-1.24

Montgomery

34.08
-1.64

Anniston

  32.79
-7.18

Tuscaloosa

33.75
-3.71
     Calera

  34.77

 -5.34
      Troy

 35.10

 -4.48

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 still suffering because of heat stress and dry conditions, but there has been some improvement in localized areas due to recent rainfall. Pastures are still hurting in some areas, and the wet weather has hampered some hay cutting.

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

 

Crop
% Poor or Worse
% Fair or Better
Cattle

 7

93
Pasture & Range

16

84

 Cotton

 5

95

Soybeans

15

85

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 400 to 600 across Central Alabama.   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 much of the area due to recent rainfall. however, some gages...especially 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...especially in the Tallapoosa River Basin.  Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Aabama and levels from July 28th:

 

Reservoir

Level for 08/11/2016
Level for 07/28/2016
Weiss
563.2
563.2
Neely Henry
507.2
507.2
Logan Martin
464.2
464.1
Lay
395.8
395.9
Mitchell
311.9
311.8
Jordan
251.4
251.5
R.L. Harris
791.4
791.7
Martin
488.1
488.2
Smith
504.1
505.2
Bankhead
254.8
254.9
Holt
186.5
186.7

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

 

Social Impacts...

Most area reservoir levels are at or near their summer pool levels...although some have fallen due to the dry conditions and low streamflows.  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 the middle of next week upper level ridging is forecast to increase again across the area bringing a return to somewhat lower rain chances back to the area. Rainfall through the middle of next week is forecast to average around one to two inches across the area, although there could be some spotty heavier totals.

The two week outlook...from August 16th through August 24th...calls for near normal temperatures  and above normal precipitation chances.

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

The latest seasonal drought outlook through October indicates that in general drought conditions are expected to persist across areas currently experiencing them in Central Alabama...and possibly develop farther southward across Central Alabama.

 

Update Statement...

This next statement will be issued around Thursday August 25th.

 

 

 


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