Drought Numbers: Big Improvement from 2016

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We had a rough 2016 with an “exceptional”  drought across the Tennessee Valley. Technically we started the year okay, but around April and May, the wheels came off.


January through July Rain Totals (2016)

Just over two inches in April and less than that in May wasn’t good enough. That’s where things went downhill. Normally we see over nine inches for that time and we only saw a shade under four. We had a slow recovery in June and July,  but then it was too late. When it comes to rainfall, it seems like it’s more difficult to get in a deficit and catch up than the other way around. Even if you get heavy rain, most of it runs off and doesn’t soak in. In the spring and summer, it’s difficult to get a soaking rain everywhere unless it’s a tropical system. Convective storms are often unpredictable and rain totals are uneven.  This year we are looking good! Check out the difference in rain totals from this year to last for April and May.

No Problem This Year With Rainfall

Now we are still at a deficit in the Shoals and Huntsville on the 2017 totals. Huntsville is just under 2″ behind with the Shoals over 3″ behind respectively. Only a small sliver of west Alabama has “dry” conditions. That’s a big improvement from just a couple of months ago when most of the Tennessee Valley was under a “severe” drought. We’ll monitor the situation in the coming months, but as for now, it looks good!


US Monitor Updated June 8, 2017.


Cherokee to Red Bay currently experience dry conditions. The new update for June 8 has a small part of Marion County in a moderate drought.

Look at the difference from just six months ago. Most of east Alabama and north-central Georgia had the worst of it.

*Courtesy: U.S. Drought Monitor