Additional drought maps can be found here:
Drought Information Statement for North and Central Georgia
National Weather Service Peachtree City GA
1130 AM EDT Thu Feb 1 2018
...SHORT-TERM SEVERE DROUGHT DEVELOPS OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA...
...ABNORMALLY DRY TO MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST ACROSS NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA...
Over the last several weeks, rainfall deficits over north and
central Georgia have continued to worsen, and drought conditions
have expanded over the area. Since November, Georgia has been in a
fairly active synoptic pattern, with weather systems traversing the
area every 4 to 7 days. Regardless, measurable precipitation has
been minimal, and at a times frozen precipitation has limited the
opportunity for improvement to the dry soil conditions. As a result,
Abnormally Dry conditions developed over portions of the state as
early as late November, with Moderate Drought expanding over north
and central Georgia through December. With persistent dry
conditions, Severe Drought creeped into north and central Georgia in
mid-January, and with increasing confidence that these dry
conditions will continue or worsen, Drought Information Statements
are being initiated today.
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS.
Recent rainfall over the last week, heavy in some areas, has kept
the shallow and deep soil moisture profiles from truly reflecting
the expanding and worsening drought over the area. Across north and
central Georgia, the shallow soil profile ranges from Slightly Dry
to Favorably Wet. The deeper soil index is near normal, except in
portions of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, including Lake
Lanier and its headwaters, which falls in the Severe Drought
soil moisture category.
The official Drought Monitor has expanded the Severe Drought area
since last week to now include portions of northwest Georgia, north
and west of a line from Rockmart, to Redbud, to Eton. Additionally,
the Severe Drought over west central Georgia now includes areas west
and south of a line from Cordele, to Oakland, to Columbus. These
Severe Drought areas include portions of the Coosa, Tennessee,
middle Chattahoochee and Flint River basins. Bordering the Severe
Drought is the Moderate Drought area, covering most of north
Georgia, and including the north and western Metro Atlanta area. The
moderate drought includes the remaining portion of the Tennessee
River basin and most of the upper Chattahoochee River basin. Outside
of these areas, Abnormally Dry conditions persist.
RIVER AND STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS.
Average stream flows for the last 14-days are running below normal
to much below normal - generally 9 to 25 percent of normal
streamflow. The lowest streamflows continue to be in the northwest
Georgia area, particularly in the Coosa and Tennessee River basins.
Real-time ground water conditions are largely only 10 to 24 percent
in west central Georgia. Please note that creeks and smaller rivers
can change quickly due to runoff from heavy rain if it occurs.
FIRE DANGER HAZARDS.
The latest fire danger assessment indicates a Moderate risk across
the majority of north Georgia, north of a line from West Point, to
Forsyth, to Athens. South of this line there is a Moderate to High
risk, particularly in areas near Americus and farther south. Please
note that this assessment can change rapidly due to changes in
moisture levels and rainfall received.
Over the last two weeks, 0.5 to 3 inches of rainfall occurred over
north and central Georgia. The highest rainfall totals occurred over
portions of west central and eastern north Georgia. In this area,
generally along a 3 county swath zone from West Point Lake to south
Metro Atlanta to Athens, rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches were
observed, or 110 to 200 percent of normal.
The lowest rainfall amounts occurred over far northwest Georgia,
mainly along and north of a Rome to Blairsville line, and also
southwest parts of central Georgia, south and west of Columbus to
Butler to Plains. In these areas, rainfall amounts were 0.25 to 1
inch, or 10 to 50 percent of normal.
Given that portions of the state have been affected by a recent short
term drought, the following table has been provided below. This
indicates the total rainfall and departures for the last 90 days.
Location Total Rainfall Normal Departure Percent
90 Days Value from Normal of Normal
ATLANTA 8.68 11.97 -3.29 73%
ATHENS 8.60 11.37 -2.77 76%
COLUMBUS 5.77 12.02 -6.25 48%
MACON 6.49 11.42 -4.93 57%
CARTERSVILLE 5.79 12.72 -6.93 46%
NE ATLANTA 7.25 12.95 -5.70 56%
WEST ATLANTA 5.98 12.20 -6.22 49%
GAINESVILLE 6.39 13.80 -7.41 46%
PEACHTREE CITY 7.53 12.00 -4.47 63%
ROME 6.79 13.79 -7.00 49%
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
Current lake levels at several USACE Projects were below seasonal
pool levels, ranging between 3.5 to 4.5 feet below seasonal pool at
Hartwell, Lanier and Thurmond. The other USACE project elevations
ranged from slight above seasonal pool to 2.5 feet above.
After an initial rise this week at Carters Lake and West Point due
to the recent rainfall, the pool levels are projected to decrease
slightly over the next four weeks. All other projects are expected
rise slightly or remain nearly steady over the next four weeks.
The USACE will try to maintain winter pool levels to provide flood
storage through the spring, and have been used below for reference.
Lake Winter Pool Current Level Departure
Allatoona 826 827.55 +1.55
Carters 1072 1072.14 +0.14
Hartwell 656 652.11 -3.89
Lanier 1070 1066.47 -3.53
Thurmond 327 322.66 -4.34
West Point 628 630.51 +2.51
Additional lake levels are available at the link provided in the
RELATED WEBSITES section below.
For the February...the outlook for north and central Georgia is
for above normal temperatures and below normal chances of
90 Day Outlook...for February through April...above normal
temperatures and below normal precipitation are expected.
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement is scheduled for Thursday,
February 15, 2018.
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following websites:
NWS WFO Atlanta: www.weather.gov/atlanta
NWS WFO Atlanta - Drought Resources: weather.gov/ffc/raindef
NWS WFO Atlanta - Lake Levels: weather.gov/ffc/rrm
NOAA AHPS - Rainfall Totals: water.weather.gov/precip
U.S. Drought Portal: www.drought.gov
U.S. Drought Monitor: www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu
Climate Prediction Center: www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
Office of the Georgia State Climatologist:
U.S. Geological Survey - Water Resources of Georgia:
Georgia Forestry Commission - Fire Weather Assessments:
This data was furnished by the National Weather Service in
cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Georgia State
Climatologist in Atlanta, the Georgia Environmental Protection
Division, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Current Fire Danger
Assessments were provided by the Georgia Forestry COmmission.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have any questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:
NWS WFO Atlanta
4 Falcon Drive Peachtree City, GA 30269