National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 

Drought Information For Central Alabama
Issued February 15, 2018


 

Drought Conditions Improve Significantly In Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that drought conditions have improved significantly in Central Alabama. Severe Drought is no longer indicated in Central Alabama. Moderate Drought now extends from Tuscaloosa and southeast Fayette Counties east-northeast to Cherokee, Etowah and northern Calhoun Counties, and in the southeast sections from southern Montgomery, southern Macon and Russell Counties southward.  Remaining areas are indicated to be Abnormally Dry or Normal.  

 

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...

Cold fronts brought significant rainfall to the area during the past week and provided some significant relief to the drought conditions in Central Alabama. As a result, most locations have returned to near or above normal rainfall for the year. Cumulative rainfall during the past week averaged one to three inches over much of Central Alabama...with localized amounts to five inches or more.  This has significantly improved the drought conditions over much of Central Alabama. 

Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through February 14th (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

7.32

Montgomery

7.43

Anniston

7.99

Tuscaloosa

9.01

Calera

9.66

Troy

          4.15

 

Average precipitation expected from January 1st through February 14th:

Birmingham

    7.05

 +0.27

Montgomery

    7.27

 +0.16

Anniston

    6.99 +1.00

Tuscaloosa

    7.97

 +1.04

 Calera 9.22

+1.44

 Troy 6.75

-2.60

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moisture values in general have improved and are now running in the 30 to 70 percentile bracket over most of the area...although values in the extreme western sections are still in the 20 to 30 percentile range. Periodic rainfall will be needed to return or keep soil moisture values at their normal levels.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

There are not any known widespread agricultural problems at this time due to the current drought conditions. However if the current drought conditions persist or worsen agricultural concerns could arise as we head through the winter and spring seasons.

 

 
 

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The fire danger risk is generally low across Central Alabama with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) currently running at 100 or below across most of the area. Values above 500 indicate a severe fire danger.

 

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. 

 

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

The latest USGS stream gauge data indicates that stream flows are currently running above normal across much of Central Alabama following the recent heavy rainfall.  Periodic rainfall will be needed for stream flows to remain at normal or above normal levels as we continue through the winter season into spring.

 

Most of the major reservoir pool levels are near their winter pool levels and have remained fairly steady or risen some during the past week. A few reservoirs have been raised a little above their normal winter pool levels by operators to facilitate filling them this spring should the drought persist or worsen. Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from February 8th.

 

Reservoir Level for 02/15/18 Level for 02/08/18  

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

563.5
506.1
461.8
395.4
311.4
251.5
786.8
484.6
505.9
254.4
187.1

561.0
506.9
462.1
395.7
311.7
251.6
786.8
483.5
498.1
254.4
186.2
 

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

       
 

Social Impacts...

Reservoir levels are near their winter pool levels in most locations...although some have risen a little following the recent heavy rainfall.  There are no known mandatory water restricitions currently in effect.  However, normal water conservation methods are encouraged to be followed in the event that the drought conditions persist or worsen during the next few weeks.

 

Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

An unsettled weather pattern with periodic bouts of rainfall across the area will prevail into the middle of next week. The best chances for more significant rainfall will occur from Friday afternoon into Saturday as a frontal boundary meanders across the area. More scattered rainfall is then expected during the first half of next week.  Cumulative rainfall totals are expected to average near or below an inch in most places through next Wednesday.

 

The Two Week Outlook...from February 20th through February 28th...calls for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation chances transitioning to near normal chances.

 

The Longer-Range Outlook for March through May is for above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.

 

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through May indicates that drought conditions are likely to diminish across much of Central Alabama.

 

Update Statement...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday March 1st.