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Drought Information For Central Alabama
Updated June 8th, 2017


 

Drought Conditions Almost Gone In Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that the drought conditions that have persisted across Central Alabama are almost gone. Moderate Drought is now found only in the extreme southern portion of Fayette County and western portion of Marion County.  Elsewhere across Central Alabama Abnormally Dry conditions are now found from Walker County and the northern sections of Tuscaloosa County northwest to the Mississippi state line...and over portions of Russell County in Southeast Alabama. Elsewhere conditions are near normal for this time of year.

 

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...

Several episodes of rainfall occurred during the past week as a series of weak fronts...upper air disturbances and a moist unstable air mass combined to produce an unsettled weather pattern across the area. Rainfall totals across Central Alabama averaged one to three inches over most of the area...but localized higher totals up to five inches occurred.. This helped further ease the drought conditions that have plagued the area during the past several months...with most stream flows in the area currently near or above normal for the time of year. 

Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through June 7th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

30.04

Montgomery

36.87

Anniston

26.30

Tuscaloosa

27.45

Calera

32.36

Troy

         34.77

 

Average precipitation expected from January 1st through June 7th:

Birmingham

   24.96
+5.08

Montgomery

   23.44

 +12.62

Anniston

   22.93 +2.46

Tuscaloosa

   23.40

 +3.00

 Calera 23.93

+7.28

 Troy 22.83

+10.87

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moisture values in general are now running near to above normal following the recent rainfall. Periodic rainfall will be needed to maintain soil moisture at these levels.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that overall crops are in fairly good shape across the area. Rainfall has helped improve pastures across the area and aided many of the crops that have been planted. However...the recent wet conditions have hampered the planting of crops such as cotton and soybeans in Elmore County...and cotton will need to be replanted in some fields in Fayette County due to seeds already planted rotting in the moist soils.  The harvesting of peaches, strawberries and some early summer vegetables continues. Periodic rainfall will be needed to maintain the crops.  In general the majority of cattle and crops are reported to be in fair or better condition.

 

 
 

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The fire danger risk has diminished across Central Alabama with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) currently ranging from 100 to 200 with localized values of 200 to 400. Values above 500 indicate a severe fire danger.

 

Based upon information received from the Alabama Forestry Commission, there are now indications that many hardwoods and pine trees have died due to infestation from pine beetles and other pests. This is a direct result of the drought since it has weakened many trees making the more susceptible to insects and diseases. According to forestry officials, there could be significant losses but the exact economic impacts are not known at this time. Despite the fact that there are currently no burn bans issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission, the State Forester continues to urge people that are doing any outside burning to follow safety precautions such as not leaving any fire unattended and having the proper equipment and personnel to control the fire. Summer Burning Restrictions for non-agricultural burns have been issued by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management from May through October for the Central Alabama Counties of Etowah, Jefferson, Montgomery, Russell, Shelby and Talladega.

 

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

The latest USGS stream gauge data indicates that stream flows remain above normal across much of Central Alabama following rainfall during the past week. Periodic rainfall will be needed for stream flows to remain at near normal or above normal levels as we continue through the spring season.

 

Most of the major reservoir pool levels are near their normal summer full pool levels and have remained fairly steady during the past week. Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from June 1st.

 

Reservoir Level for 06/01/17 Level for 06/01/17  

Weiss
Neely Henry
Logan Martin
Lay
Mitchell
Jordan
R.L. Harris
Martin
Smith
Bankhead
Holt

563.9
507.4
464.8
395.5
311.5
251.6
793.0
489.5
509.9
255.0
186.7

563.9
507.8
464.8
395.5
311.8
251.5
793.0
489.6
509.9
254.7
186.7
 

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

       
 

Social Impacts...

Reservoir levels are near their full summer pool levels as a result of our spring rainfall.  Although a few mostly voluntary water restrictions may still be in effect most water restrictions have been lifted by local water boards and operations have returned to normal.

 

 

Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

An upper level trough was spreading cooler and drier air across Central Alabama today...and except for a chance of isolated showers in the northeast sections this afternoon...mostly dry weather will prevail through Saturday. A southerly flow of air will return to the area on Sunday and will bring some chance for showers back to the southern sections.  Better chances will return to all of the area on Monday and Tuesday as the southerly wind flow continues to advect more moisture over the area. Cumulative rainfall totals through next Wednesday are expected to average less than an inch across Central Alabama.

 

The Two Week Outlook...from June 13th through June 21st...calls for near to above normal temperatures transitioning to below normal temperatures...and above normal precipitation chances.

 

The Longer-Range Outlook for the remainder of June through August is for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above normal...near normal or below normal precipitation.

 

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through August indicates that drought conditions are expected to improve with drought removal expected in areas currently experiencing these conditions.

 

Update Statement...

This will be the last statement issued until Severe Drought or greater returns to the area.