National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 

Drought Information For Central Alabama
Issued September 19th, 2019


 

Drought Conditions Expand across Portions of Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Severe Drought conditions are persisting across portions of western and central Shelby County. Moderate Drought conditions have expanded now encompassing portions of Shelby, Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Cleburne, Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Elmore, Montgomery and Macon Counties. Abnormally Dry conditions remain roughly along and east of a line from Piedmont to Odenville to Birmingham to Vance to Centreville to Suttle to Gordonville to Pine Level to Clio. Generally to the west of this line near normal conditions prevail.

 

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...

Rainfall totals during the past two weeks have been variable, with amounts generally averaging between two and five inches with localized higher amounts. However...some isolated areas only received around an inch or so during this period. In general, this rainfall has helped to alleviate the dry conditions to some degree across Central Alabama.

Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through September 18th: (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

37.06

Montgomery

33.81

Anniston

39.59

Tuscaloosa

40.10

Calera

33.87

Troy

          31.05

 

Average precipitation expected from January 1st through August 28th:

Birmingham

    39.41

 -2.35

Montgomery

    39.18

 -5.37

Anniston

    36.69 +2.90

Tuscaloosa

    38.00

 +2.10

 Calera 40.44

-6.57

 Troy 40.53

-9.48

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moisture values are running well below normal across the east central portions of Central Alabama for this time of year and near to below normal elsewhere across the area. More significant rainfall will be needed for the improvement of dry soil moisture values.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

Information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that rainfall is needed across much of the area. Pastures, soybeans, grasses and hayfields were drying up and the combination of heat and dry conditions were delaying some planting for the cool season along with reduced field activity.

 

   

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The Fire Danger Risk is high in a corridor from Lamar County southeast to Jefferson and Shelby Counties and extended further southeast to include portions of Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Elmore, Macon and Montgomery Counties as indicated with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) currently from 500 to 700 over much of this area. Most remaining areas of Central Alabama generally have values of 500 or less. Values above 500 indicate a Severe Fire Danger.

 

There are currently no burn bans issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission, however, a Fire Danger Advisory has been issued for all 67 counties in the state. Non-agricultural burns are not allowed through the month of October for the following Central Alabama counties: Etowah, Jefferson, Montgomery, Russell, Shelby and Talladega. The Alabama Forestry Commission "urges everyone to delay outdoor burning until conditions improve if possible". Please take all necessary safety precautions when burning.

 

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

The latest USGS Stream Gauge Data indicates that stream flows have decreased across our southern counties along with portions of our central and eastern counties with generally near-normal conditions elsewhere for this time of year. Periodic rainfall will be needed to improve and maintain stream flows to near-normal levels as we proceed into early fall.

 

Most of the major reservoir pool levels remain near their normal summer pool levels but some are beginning to show signs of declining. Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from August 15th.

 

Reservoir Level for 09/19/19 Level for 08/29/19  

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

563.1
507.7
464.7
395.9
311.8
251.5
791.2
487.3
502.4
254.8
186.6

563.9
508.0
464.9
396.0
311.9
251.5
791.8
488.3
504.5
254.8
186.7
 

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

       
 

Social Impacts...

Most reservoir levels are near normal but some are showing signs of some decline. While there are no known mandatory water restrictions currently in effect, normal water conservation techniques are encouraged to be followed in the event that the drought conditions persist or worsen through this fall.

 

Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation & Temperature Outlook...

Mostly dry conditions are expected to persist through the next ten days with above normal temperatures forecast across the entire forecast area. Very low rain chances, if any, are in the forecast for Central Alabama over the next seven days. The 7 day precipitation outlook has all but our far western and northern counties remaining dry.

 

The Two Week Outlook...from September 26th through October 2nd...calls for a continuation of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation throughout Central Alabama.

 

The Longer-Range Outlook for the remainder of September through November continues to project above normal temperatures and equal chances of below normal, normal or above normal precipitation across Central Alabama.

 

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through December indicates that drought conditions are expected to persist and potentially further expand in scope across much of Eastern Alabama and into portions of Central Alabama.

 

Update Statement...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday, October 3rd.