Current drought conditions in the U.S. - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

National drought summary

Current drought conditions in the U.S.

Posted: Updated:

Source:  NOAA, NWS

Weather Summary: During the past week, heavy precipitation (2 inches or greater) fell over much of the Southeast, portions of the Pacific Northwest coastal ranges and Cascades, and the California Sierras. Moderate precipitation (0.5-2.0 inches) was widespread across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, the Ohio Valley, the central Mississippi Valley, parts of the central Great Plains, the northern Rockies, the Northwest and northern California. Light precipitation (up to a half-inch) was reported elsewhere in the contiguous U.S., and little if any precipitation was observed across the Southwest. Storm activity initially affected the East, followed by several storm systems which moved across the West, the southern Great Plains, the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, and ultimately parts of the Northeast.  Several inches of snow accumulated in the Washington, D.C. area on Monday, March 25th, which is unusually late in the season for such an event.

The Southeast: During the past 7-days, the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS) reported moderate to heavy rains (0.5 – 4.5 inches) across Georgia, most of Alabama and South Carolina, and northern and central Florida. This widespread soaking resulted in a 1-category improvement in drought conditions across Georgia, the eastern Panhandle of Florida, and portions of South Carolina. Severe weather (mostly strong winds and large hail) was also reported across the Florida Panhandle over the weekend. In east-central Alabama, the lingering area of abnormal dryness (D0) was removed from Chambers County.

In Georgia, all severe drought (D2) has been removed because of the heavy rainfall. Severe drought has been ongoing across portions of the state since September 21, 2010. As recently as January 29, 2013, 82.4 percent of Georgia was in severe drought or worse. Since that time, Georgia experienced its wettest February statewide, and March has also been wet. The National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) Georgia Field Office reported 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending March 24th. Statewide Topsoil Moisture was rated as 1-percent very short, 2-percent short, 58-percent adequate, and 39-percent surplus. Subsoil Moisture was rated at 1-percent very short, 10-percent short, 68-percent adequate, and 21-percent surplus. High temperatures ranged from the low 50's to the low 80's, and nighttime low temperatures ranged from the low 30's to the low 60's.

In eastern North Carolina, a cool and increasingly dry pattern prompted expansion of D0 conditions, and the removal of D0 over the extreme southeastern counties of Brunswick and New Hanover.

Source:  NOAA, NWS

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