Drought conditions expand in northeast Alabama, southern Middle Tennessee

9/15/16 Drought Monitor Update

9/15/16 Drought Monitor Update

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
1023 AM CDT THU SEP 15 2016

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS IMPROVE SOMEWHAT ALONG THE I-65 CORRIDOR...
WHILE DROUGHT CONDITIONS EXPAND OVER NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA AND
SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...

SYNOPSIS:
ACCORDING TO THE DROUGHT MONITOR VALID TUESDAY...SEPTEMBER 13TH
2016...MINOR REDUCTIONS IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS OCCURRED OVER NORTH
CENTRAL PORTIONS OF ALABAMA...WITH WORSENING DROUGHT CONDITIONS
EXPANDING OVER LOCATIONS IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN MIDDLE
TENNESSEE. WHILE MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS /D1/ WERE REDUCED OVER
MUCH OF FAR EASTERN LIMESTONE AND MUCH OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
MADISON COUNTY...TINY SLIVERS OF D1 STILL REMAIN OVER SOUTHERN
LIMESTONE AND MADISON COUNTIES. THE ONLY OTHER CHANGE TO NOTE WAS THE
EXPANSION OF EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS /D3/ OVER PORTIONS OF FAR
NORTHEASTERN JACKSON COUNTY IN ALABAMA...AND IN SOUTHEASTERN FRANKLIN
COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE. 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS: 
STATE AND LOCAL DECLARATIONS: THE MOST RECENT DECLARATION FROM THE
ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (ADECA) OFFICE
OF WATER RESOURCES INDICATES THAT ALL ALABAMA COUNTIES IN THE COUNTY
WARNING AND FORECAST AREA OF THE HUNTSVILLE NWS OFFICE ARE IN A
'DROUGHT WATCH'. THIS IS A DOWNGRADE FROM THE DROUGHT WARNING WHICH
WAS IN PLACE EARLIER THIS SUMMER. 

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS: 
PER THE LATEST CROP AND PROGRESS CONDITION REPORT FROM THE USDA
NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE...FARM SERVICE AGENTS IN
MOORE COUNTY TENNESSEE REPORTING THAT CROP YIELDS ARE LOWER THAN THIS
TIME LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF THE DRY CONDITIONS. FARMERS ARE ALSO HAVING
TO SUPPLEMENT FEEDING WITH HAY BECAUSE THE GRASS IT TOO DRY TO FEED
THE CATTLE IN THE COUNTY. FARM SERVICE AGENTS IN FRANKLIN COUNTY
TENNESSEE REPORT THAT THE HARVEST IS UNDERWAY THERE...WITH REPORTS OF
FARMERS HAVING TO SUPPLY ALTERNATE FOOD AND WATER SOURCES SINCE POND
LEVELS ARE VERY LOW...AND PASTURELAND GRASSES ARE NOT ENOUGH TO FEED
THE LIVESTOCK. 

NO REPORTS WERE RECEIVED FROM FARM SERVICE AGENTS IN NORTH ALABAMA
THIS WEEK.

COUNTIES IN EXTREME DROUGHT /D3/ FOR ANY PORTION OF TIME
AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)
PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER STATUS. AS OF AUGUST 17TH...THE USDA HAD
OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED DEKALB...JACKSON...MARSHALL...MADISON...
MORGAN...LIMESTONE...LAWRENCE AND FRANKLIN (AL) COUNTIES AS PRIMARY
NATURAL DISASTER AREAS DUE TO DAMAGES AND LOSSES CAUSED BY THE
RECENT DROUGHT. IN SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...FRANKLIN...LINCOLN
AND MOORE COUNTIES ARE ALSO INCLUDED. PER THE USDA...THE CONTIGUOUS
COUNTIES OF CULLMAN...COLBERT AND LAUDERDALE COUNTIES ARE ALSO
INCLUDED IN THE DISASTER DECLARATION. ANY FURTHER NATURAL DISASTER
DECLARATIONS PERTAINING TO DROUGHT WILL BE UPDATED IN THE NEXT
DROUGHT STATEMENT ISSUANCE NEXT WEEK.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS: 
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION FIRE ALERTS OR
DROUGHT EMERGENCIES ISSUED. STATE FORESTER GREG PATE IS STILL URGING
EVERYONE TO USE ALL NECESSARY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHEN DOING ANY TYPE
OF OUTDOOR BURNING. TO OBTAIN A BURN PERMIT...CONTACT THE ALABAMA
FORESTRY COMMISSION DISPATCH CENTER FOR YOUR COUNTY. LOCAL COUNTY
AND CITY LAWS MAY RESTRICT OUTDOOR BURNING HOWEVER...SO BURNERS ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTACTING THEIR LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION. 

THE TENNESSEE DIVISION OF FORESTRY HAS NO CURRENT BURN RESTRICTIONS
IN PLACE AND BURN PERMITS ARE CURRENTLY NOT REQUIRED BY THE
DIVISION. HOWEVER...BURNERS ARE URGED TO CHECK FOR ANY LOCAL
RESTRICTIONS PRIOR TO CONDUCTING BURNING ACTIVITY.

THE KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI) AVAILABLE FROM THE U.S. FOREST
SERVICE WILDLAND FIRE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM INDICATES VALUES IN EXCESS
OF 600 ACROSS MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN/EASTERN PORTIONS OF THE NORTH
ALABAMA...INCLUDING FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE. ONLY FAR NORTHWESTERN
PORTIONS OF ALABAMA ARE INCLUDED IN THE 500-600 RANGE. JUST TO THE
EAST IN NORTHWEST GEORGIA...VALUES ARE IN EXCESS OF 700. 

CLIMATE SUMMARY: 
OVER THE LAST SEVEN DAYS...RAINFALL WAS LARGELY BELOW NORMAL ACROSS
THE AREA...WITH MOST LOCATIONS RECEIVING LESS THAN A QUARTER OF AN
INCH OF RAINFALL. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS WAS IN SOUTHERN FRANKLIN
COUNTY TENNESSEE...WHERE UPWARDS OF TWO INCHES OF RAIN FELL (MOST OF
WHICH OCCURRED IN ONE DAY). TEMPERATURES HAVE AVERAGED ABOVE NORMAL
ACROSS THE AREA OVER THE PAST WEEK AS WELL.

DURING THE SPRING AND INTO SUMMER /MARCH THROUGH EARLY SEPTEMBER/...
TEMPERATURES HAVE AVERAGED WELL ABOVE NORMAL...WHICH HAS HELPED LEAD
TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTENANCE OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS. AT
HUNTSVILLE...THIS PERIOD RANKS AS THE 2ND WARMEST ON RECORD. AT
MUSCLE SHOALS AND SCOTTSBORO...THIS PERIOD RANKS AS THE 3RD WARMEST
ON RECORD.

CLOSE TO THE HEART OF THE DROUGHT IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA AT
SCOTTSBORO...THE COOPERATIVE OBSERVER SITE AT RADIO STATION WWIC IN
DOWNTOWN IS 4.56 INCHES BELOW NORMAL OVER THE LAST 90 DAYS. FOR THE
LAST SIX MONTHS...THE SITE IS 11.36 INCHES BELOW NORMAL.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK:
GENERALLY ISOLATED TO SCATTERED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND AND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. THE HIGHEST RAIN
CHANCES FOR THE AREA ARE ON SUNDAY AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING COLD
FRONT...WITH CONVECTION TAPERING OFF FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST
DURING THE DAY ON MONDAY WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE FRONT. THAT SAID...
THE OVERALL OUTLOOK FOR APPRECIABLE RAINFALL IS RATHER BLEAK FOR THE
NEXT SEVEN DAYS.

THE OUTLOOK FOR WEEK TWO /SEP 22ND - 28TH/ FROM THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER MODERATELY TO STRONGLY FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND ALSO STRONGLY FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.
THE OUTLOOK FOR ALL OF THE REST OF SEPTEMBER SLIGHTLY FAVORS ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.

THE LATEST SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK VALID FROM SEPTEMBER 15TH TO
DECEMBER 31ST INDICATES THAT DROUGHT IS LIKELY TO PERSIST ACROSS THE
REGION THROUGH THE END OF DECEMBER...WITH AREAS NOT CURRENTLY
INCLUDED IN ANY DROUGHT DECLARATIONS DEVELOPING DROUGHT CONDITIONS
DURING THIS TIME.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
AREA RIVER AND CREEK STREAMFLOWS HAVE DETERIORATED OVER THE PAST
SEVEN DAYS...WITH THE FOLLOWING SITES REPORTING LOW STREAMFLOWS FOR
THIS TIME OF YEAR:

PAINT ROCK RIVER AT WOODVILLE: 4TH PERCENTILE
LIMESTONE CREEK: 12TH PERCENTILE 
SOUTH SAUTY CREEK NEAR RAINSVILLE: 16TH PERCENTILE

ELSEWHERE ACROSS THE AREA...STREAMFLOWS ARE GENERALLY ABOVE THE 20TH
PERCENTILE...WITH A FEW LOCATIONS AT OR BELOW THE 10TH PERCENTILE. 

LAKE LEVELS HAVE LARGELY BEEN UNAFFECTED BY THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS
THIS YEAR. LAKES WITHIN THE HEAVILY REGULATED TENNESSEE RIVER SYSTEM
ARE OPERATING WITHIN NORMAL POOL LEVELS. ALABAMA POWER REPORTS THAT
DRY CONDITIONS ARE HAVING AN IMPACT ON SOME LAKE LEVELS UNDER THEIR
CONTROL...INCLUDING LEWIS SMITH LAKE. THE LAKE IS OPERATING BELOW
ITS NORMAL GUIDE CURVE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

ACCORDING TO THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...THE LATEST DAILY SOIL
MOISTURE RANKINGS AS OF SEPTEMBER 14TH INDICATE SOIL MOISTURE VALUES
HAVE PLUMMETED OVER THE PAST WEEK. OVER NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA...
VALUES ARE LARGELY AT OR BELOW THE 1ST PERCENTILE...WITH A TINY
SLIVER OF LOCATIONS APPROACHING THE 5TH PERCENTILE. VALUES RISE TO
NEAR THE 30TH PERCENTILE AROUND THE HUNTSVILLE-DECATUR METRO AREAS.
IN SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...VALUES RANGE BETWEEN THE 30TH
PERCENTILE IN LINCOLN...TO THE 5TH PERCENTILE IN FAR SOUTHEASTERN
FRANKLIN COUNTY.

THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY GROUNDWATER WELL SITE IN CULLMAN COUNTY
SHOWS THAT GROUNDWATER LEVELS FELL BELOW THE DAILY MEDIAN VALUE
DURING THE MARCH TO LATE APRIL PERIOD AND HAVE SINCE REMAINED BELOW
AVERAGE SINCE THAT TIME. GROUNDWATER LEVELS AT THE MONITORING SITE
IN LAWRENCE COUNTY HAVE CONTINUED TO DECLINE MARKEDLY SINCE LATE
AUGUST.