Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
1000 AM CDT THU APR 20 2017

... DROUGHT CONDITIONS INCREASE SOME IN CENTRAL ALABAMA ...

SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that drought
conditions have persisted with expanded abnormally dry conditions
across all but a portion of southwest Alabama including portions of
southeast Dallas, Southwest Lowndes, eastern Clarke, much of Monroe,
western Conecuh and west-central Escambia Counties. Moderate drought
conditions have also expanded to include much of northwest Alabama
generally from near Tuscaloosa to just west of Huntsville. This area
extends southeast to include much of Cullman, Jefferson, Blount and
St. Clair Counties and encompasses much of eastern Alabama from much
of Calhoun County and the southern two-thirds of Cleburne County
south to the northern and western half of Russell County west to
include far northwest Barbour County, all of Bullock County and
portions of far eastern Montgomery County and the eastern half of
Elmore County. Another area of moderate drought includes much of
Marengo County with far northern Clarke County. A third area of
moderate drought includes much of Geneva County, much of Coffee
County, southwest Pike County, much of Crenshaw County and east-
central Covington County.

The Drought Monitor classifies drought within one of these five
categories:

D0...Abnormally Dry
D1...Moderate Drought
D2...Severe Drought
D3...Extreme Drought
D4...Exceptional Drought

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

Only some spotty generally light rainfall occurred across the area
during the past week from isolated to scattered showers and
thunderstorms.  Areas that received rainfall were mostly limited to
the northern and western portions of Central Alabama and most of
these areas averaged less than a half of an inch. This did little to
help alleviate the drought conditions and the latest USGS gauge
readings indicate that stream flows across the area have continued
to decline due to the sparse rainfall with most again at below
normal flows for this time of the year.

Some precipitation amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from January
1st through April 19th...


Birmingham   19.32
Montgomery   19.86
Anniston     19.26
Tuscaloosa   20.60
Calera       19.83
Troy         22.66

Normal Precipitation expected (inches)and Departure from Normal
(inches) January 1st through April 19th...

Birmingham   17.43  +1.89
Montgomery   18.66  +1.20
Anniston     17.19  +2.07
Tuscaloosa   17.95  +2.65
Calera       18.07  +1.76
Troy         18.09  +4.57

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that
rainfall has been adequate for the time of year and pastures are
recovering somewhat although warm season pastures have struggled
some due to the cool weather in March. The wheat crop is reported
to be in good shape and potatoes have been planted. Farmers have
taken advantage of the recent dry weather which has been favorable
for planting to begin. However...with the planting being completed
in many areas rainfall is now needed to get the seeds up.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

The Fire Danger Risk remains relatively low but has increased
somewhat across Central Alabama with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices
(KBDI) generally ranging from 100 to 300 with some values now above
300 in some of the northwest sections. Values above 500 indicate a
Severe Fire Danger.

Based on information received from the Alabama Forestry Commission,
there are now indications that many pine trees are dying due to
infestation from pine beetles and other pests. According to forestry
officials, there could be significant losses but the exact economic
impacts are not known at this time.  Despite the fact that there are
currently no burn bans in effect, the State Forester continues to
urge people that are doing any outside burning to follow safety
precautions such as not leaving any fire unattended and having the
proper equipment and personnel to control the fire.


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

The latest USGS Stream Gauge Data indicates that stream flows have
declined to below normal across much of Central Alabama for this
time of year as a lack of recent rainfall in once again being felt.
Periodic rainfall will be needed for stream flows to return to near
normal or above normal levels as we continue through the spring
season.

Most of the major reservoir pool levels have either reached or are
near their normal summer full pool levels. Listed below are current
levels for some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and
those from April 13th.

RESERVOIR            LEVEL FOR 04/20/17     LEVEL FOR 04/13/17

Weiss                       563.9                   563.7
Neely Henry                 507.6                   507.4
Logan Martin                464.8                   464.7
Lay                         395.7                   395.8
Mitchell                    311.8                   312.0
Jordan                      251.4                   251.5
R.L. Harris                 792.9                   792.6
Martin                      489.9                   488.9
Smith                       509.9                   509.7
Bankhead                    254.8                   254.5
Holt                        186.5                   186.5

SOCIAL IMPACTS...

Reservoir levels are nearing or have reached their summer pool
levels as reservoir operators continue to gradually raise them.
Although some mostly voluntary water restrictions are still in
effect many water restrictions have been lifted by local water
boards and operations have returned to normal.


PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

An early summer-like pattern will continue across much of the state
today and tomorrow with a few mainly afternoon showers and
thunderstorms possible. Rain chances will increase during the day
Saturday as a storm system approaches. Rainfall potential will be
best northwest with amounts just over three quarters of an inch
possible. The remainder of the area will have the potential for
amounts between a tenth and a half of an inch of rain generally.
After Saturday, no appreciable chances of rain are expected through
midweek next week.

Over the next month the outlook calls for equal chances for
precipitation across much of the state with above average
temperatures likely across the state.

The seasonal outlook is similar to the monthly outlook with equal
chances for precipitation across much of the state with above
average temperatures likely across the state.

UPDATE STATEMENT...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday April 27th.



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