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Small, “extreme” drought continues in Northeast Alabama

Locally-heavy downpours over the past two weeks helped much of the Valley west of Huntsville out of drought conditions

Locally-heavy downpours over the past two weeks helped much of the Valley west of Huntsville out of drought conditions

Alabama’s over-all drought picture improved over the past two weeks thanks to daily doses of scattered showers and storms.

Total drought areal coverage dropped from 66% to 61% since last Thursday, but for all of the improvements, Jackson County is still the same: dry as a bone.

According to Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy’s assessment this week, Northeast Alabama (zone two in his Palmer Drought Index including Jefferson, Blount, Cullman, Marshall, DeKalb and Jackson Counties) needs 8.92″ of rain to break out of the drought.

Here’s the latest drought monitor map; note the area from Athens and Decatur west into The Shoals is now essentially free of drought while Northeast Alabama and North Georgia are still in the “severe” and “extreme” categories.

US Drought Monitor issued 9/1/16

US Drought Monitor issued 9/1/16

The rainfall outlook for the next week to ten days tells the story: tropical rain to the east, little (if any) coming from individual, isolated showers and storms around here.  Remember, individual storms can produce more in a single day than these generalized outlooks suggest; this is an average (a lot of zeroes and a few substantial amounts from spotty downpours:

wpc_total_precip_mississippi_28

You can always get the latest updated forecast at WHNT.com/Weather or you can swipe over to the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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