Georgia Suffering Through Severe Drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of Georgia (including southwest Georgia) are suffering through a “severe drought”.

“Heavy to excessive rainfall alleviated drought but triggered flooding across interior portions of the region, while hot, dry weather caused drought to intensify and expand farther south. A slow-moving storm system coupled with abundant subtropical moisture generated 2 to 8 inches of rain from northern portions of Alabama and Georgia into the Carolinas and Virginia. As a result, 1- to 2-category reductions in drought were noted over the interior Southeast. Furthermore, with saturated soils, elevated streamflows, and local flooding, the remaining drought in the interior Southeast was changed to long-term (“L” on the map), indicating little — if any — dryness in the shorter term (6 months or less), but longer-term deficits remained. For example, 12-month precipitation stood at 60 to 75 percent of normal in the interior Southeast’s Moderate to Extreme Drought (D1 to D3) areas. Meanwhile, warmth (4-8°F above normal) and dryness led to additional expansion of D0, D1, and D2 from northern Florida into southern Alabama and Georgia. Rainfall over the past 90 days has totaled a meager 20 to 40 percent of normal in the most severe drought areas, enhancing the risk for wildfires and depleting soil moisture supplies for crops and pastures. As of April 23, topsoil moisture stood at 64 percent short to very short in Florida, according to USDA-NASS. Despite the dry weather pattern, tropical downpours (2-8 inches) were reported in southeastern Florida, providing some localized drought relief.”

The USDA estimates that more than 4,000,000 Georgians are currently living in drought conditions.

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