Ten Days Away From Drought?

Posted on: 9:08 pm, August 20, 2013, by

It has been a very wet, cool summer around much of this region, but things are definitely changing. Just look at how much difference there is in total July rainfall and August rainfall-to-date:

July Rainfall

  • Huntsville: 10.48″
  • Decatur: 11.11″
  • Muscle Shoals: 7.60″
  • Scottsboro: 6.63″

August Rainfall (1-20th)

  • Huntsville: 1.33″
  • Decatur: 1.34″
  • Muscle Shoals: 4.45″
  • Scottsboro: 0.78″

Rainfall over the past 60 days has been very impressive; however, what we got in early July does not have a lot of bearing on how well we are doing right now – especially with agriculture and soil moisture. Obviously, rivers and lakes are about as high as they get this time of year, but there’s a saying that Alabama’s State Climatologist Dr. John Christy likes to use to describe the way a streak of dry weather can affect us:

“You’re never more than 10 days without rain away from a drought.” See Meteorologist Jennifer Watson’s report with the information from Dr. Christy here:

And as of right now, we’re not really in danger of immediate drought conditions in North Alabama or Middle Tennessee, but as September nears (typically one of the driest months of the year), we will be watching weather patterns closely for any signs of beneficial rain.

The latest Lawn & Garden Index and Palmer Drought Index show no indication of drought:

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  • NSSTC

  • NSSTC

As of right now, we’re not really in danger of immediate drought conditions in North Alabama or Middle Tennessee, but as September nears (typically one of the driest months of the year), we will be watching weather patterns closely for any signs of beneficial rain.

The CFS model (Climate Forecast System) paints a fairly dry picture for month of September around here. It’s forecast for drier-than-average (and cooler-than-average) weather has been consistent for the past few weeks. Projections for the Tennessee Valley are for around 75-100% of normal rainfall (roughly 2 to 3 inches of rain) from September 1st to September 30th. There are obviously going to be some areas that receive more or less than that estimate, but the general idea of most communities having a relatively dry month seems solid.

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  • CFS Precipitation Anomaly for September

  • CFS Forecast Precipitation for September

Unless there’s a tropical system moving inland over Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee in September, it’s looking like slim-pickin’s in the rain department.

-Jason
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