National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 

Drought Information For Central Alabama
Issued May 24, 2018


 

Moderate Drought Conditions in East-Central Alabama

 

Synopsis...

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Moderate Drought conditions are found in extreme southern Randolph County, much of Chambers County and eastern sections of Tallapoosa County. Abnormally Dry conditions cover most other areas of Central Alabama east of a line from near Gadsden to Selma.  Remaining areas in Central Alabama are indicated to be 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...

Rainfall totals during the past two weeks were quite varied across Central Alabama with some areas only receiving around an inch of cumulative rainfall while other locations received three to five inches with localized higher amounts. Some of the lower totals occurred in areas designated as in Moderate Drought or Abnormally Dry so there was not any significant change to the dry conditions in these areas. 

Some precipitation amounts for Central Alabama from January 1st through May 23rd (For up to the most recent climate report...click on the city.):

Birmingham

25.17

Montgomery

17.05

Anniston

19.91

Tuscaloosa

25.93

Calera

24.46

Troy

          12.97

 

Average precipitation expected from January 1st through May 23rd:

Birmingham

    22.73

 +2.44

Montgomery

    22.56

 -5.51

Anniston

    21.90 -1.99

Tuscaloosa

   22.37

 +3.56

 Calera 22.68

+1.78

 Troy 21.36

-8.39

Hydrologic Impacts...

Lawn & Garden Index Crop Moisture Index

Soil moisture values are running from above normal in the northwest sections of Central Alabama to near normal in the southeastern areas. Periodic rainfall will be needed to keep soil moisture values near or above their normal levels.

 

Agricultural Impacts...

There are not any known widespread agricultural problems at this time due to the current drought conditions. Information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that rain has been hit or miss in many areas, but has provided some much needed relief for crops. The planting of cotton and peanuts continues across the area. Dry conditions persist in some areas and irrigation of corn has been needed in portions of Barbour County, and the dry weather has plagued pastures and fields in Montgomery County.  In general, most cattle, pastures and crops are reported to be in fair or better condition.

   

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI)

Fire Danger Impacts...

The fire danger risk has increased somewhat across Central Alabama with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) currently running most between 100 and 400.  Values above 500 indicate a severe fire danger.

 

The Alabama Forestry Commission reports that around five wild fires have occurred during the past week and nearly one hundred during the past thirty days. Despite the fact that there are currently no burn bans issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission, non-agricultural burns are not allowed from the month of May through the month of October for the following Central Alabama counties: Etowah, Jefferson, Montgomery, Russell, Shelby and Talladega. 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 have mostly returned to near or above normal levels due to recent rainfall.  Periodic rainfall will be needed for stream flows to remain at near or above normal levels as we continue into the summer season.

 

Most of the major reservoir pool levels remain near their normal summer pool levels. Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from May 11th.

 

Reservoir Level for 05/24/18 Level for 05/11/18  

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

563.7
507.8
464.9
395.6
311.7
251.5
792.9
489.4
509.8
254.8
186.4

563.9
508.0
464.9
396.0
311.9
251.4
792.9
489.6
509.9
255.0
186.4
 

USGS Daily Streamflow Conditions

       
 

Social Impacts...

Most reservoir levels are near their normal summer pool levels. There are no known mandatory water restrictions 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...

A moist, unstable air mass was found across the area today and is expected to persist into the weekend. At the same time, low pressure located near the Yucatan Peninsula today is forecast to gradually drift northward into the Central or Eastern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, and possibly develop into a tropical cyclone. This pattern will continue to send moist tropical air across the area into the first part of next week and result in periodic scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms during the next several days. Cumulative rainfall totals through next Wednesday are forecast to average between three and five inches. The eventual rainfall totals that occur will depend greatly on the eventual development and movement of the tropical system to our south.

 

The Two Week Outlook...from May 29th through June 6th...calls for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

 

The Longer-Range Outlook for the remainder of  June through August is for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

 

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through August indicates that drought conditions are likely to end in areas currently experiencing them.

 

Update Statement...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday June 7th.