Worst in a Decade: more than a third of Alabama in “exceptional” drought

Thursday morning’s U.S. Drought Monitor Update showed 100% of both Alabama and Tennessee now in some stage of drought, but the worst level, “exceptional,” now covers over 33% of Alabama and nearly 9% of Tennessee.  This is the worst in this region since the historic, long-term drought from 2007 to 2008.

According to Alabama’s  State Climatologist Dr. John Christy, the entire northern half of Alabama needs between 10″ and 15″ of rain to alleviate drought conditions; that does not appear likely in our near future.

Even the most aggressive model guidance keeps rainfall at or below normal through the end of December.

“Normal” rainfall based on the most recent 30-year climatology for Huntsville shows we should have around 8.34″ between November 17th and December 31st.  The EPS guidance (European ensemble) shows around six inches for that same time frame.

EPS for Huntsville (11/14)

EPS for Huntsville (11/14) via WxBell.com

At this point, any rain is good rain, but light rain on occasion won’t do much to stave off the expanding drought. We do see a chance of some scattered showers through the region Friday night into Saturday morning; after that, it’s dry and cool for several days until the next chance (still relatively small) appears on the horizon toward the middle and end part of next week.

Need some specifics about the forecast like when to expect some showers and what kind of impact they will have? That’s always available at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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