Rainfall does not mean we are out of drought territory

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The rain has come and gone and even though the ground is still wet, we're technically still in a drought.

"The drought is not over,  it's definitely not over, it's a long shot from being over!" said National Weather Service meteorologist Chelly Amin.

Some parts of north Alabama are still 10 to 12 inches away from being where we need to be in terms of rainfall. This is affecting our local agriculture as well as our lawns and gardens at home.

"Trees and shrubs will appreciate the rain, but that might not make up for any sort of damage that they've had from the drought," said Jeff Bennett with Bennett Nurseries.

It will help for the future but won't undo the past-- and sometimes the rain we do get is still not helpful.

"When we've been this dry for this long, it completely parches the soil, and basically makes it act like concrete," Amin explained.

This can cause those hard rainfalls to run right off the ground into creeks, rivers, and sewers, instead of being absorbed.

"If you get this low and slow rainfall that can percolate into the very dry soil, it's going to be a lot more beneficial than say a really big burst of 5 or 6 inches of rainfall," Amin said.

So, the slower the rain, the more water can be absorbed into dry ground. But for many local farmers the need for rain has come and gone.

"They're not only trying to harvest current crops, they're trying to plant for the next season," Amin said.

For the average green thumb, rain like this is beneficial. But some parts of north Alabama still need nearly a foot of rain before we're back on track.

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