Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL
AXUS74 KBMX 231438 AAA
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Birmingham AL
938 AM CDT Thu Feb 23 2017
... Drought Conditions Increase Some Across Central Alabama ...
SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Extreme
Drought conditons have returned to portions of Central Alabama.
Extreme Drought is now found to the right of a line from near Leeds
to Woodstock to near Akron to Warsaw to Carrollton to Birmingport to
Forestdale to Leeds. Moderate to Severe Drought covers remaining
areas roughly north of a line from Crumptonia to Marbury to
Lafayette. Remaining areas in south-central Alabama are indicated to
be abnormally dry or near normal.
The Drought Monitor classifies drought within one of these five
Some rainfall occurred during the past week with the heaviest
amounts occurring on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Rainfall
totals were greatest in the southeastern sections where between one
and two inches occurred...while most of the remaining areas received
under an inch. This was not enough to provide any significant
improvement in the long term drought conditions found across Central
Alabama with most streamflows in the northwestern half of Alabama
returning to below normal levels.
Some Precipitation Amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from January
1st through February 22nd...
Normal Precipitation expected (inches) and Departure From Normal
(inches) January 1st through February 22nd...
Birmingham 8.34 +0.87
Montgomery 8.80 +5.29
Anniston 8.47 +1.77
Tuscaloosa 9.58 +1.09
Calera 9.86 +0.71
Troy 8.11 +9.15
The last United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Report
issued November 28th indicated that agricutural interests had
been significantly impacted by the drought with many ponds and
streams reported to be drying up at that time. Cattle producers
were also supplementing livestock with hay, feed supplements and
water hauled from elsewhere. Many farmers had been unable to plant
winter crops due to the drought. More recently, many small streams
and ponds used for cattle have seen levels increase due to the
recent rainfall that has occurred. Recent reports from the USDA
indicate that hay is still an issue in some areas but the recent
rain has helped to stabilize winter pastures that have been planted.
Cattle were reported to be in fair condition.
FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...
The Fire Danger Risk remains low across Central Alabama with Keetch-
Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) below 100 across most of the area with
localized areas in the western sections now between 100 and 200.
Values above 500 indicate a Severe Fire Danger.
While the statewide Burn Ban has been rescinded, there remains
concern that many pine trees could be infested with pine beetles and
die due to the drought that has plagued the state. 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.
This is based on information from the Alabama Forestry Commission.
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
The latest USGS Stream Gauge Data indicates that stream flows have
decreased again and are currently running below normal across the
northwestern half of Central Alabama and near normal in the
southeast sections for this time of year. Periodic rainfall will
need to occur for stream flows to return to or remain at near normal
or above normal levels as we move toward the spring season.
Most major reservoir pool levels have remained fairly steady
during the past week and remain near their normal winter levels.
Listed below are current levels for some of the major reservoirs
across Central Alabama and those from February 16th:
Reservor Level for 02/23/17 Level for 02/16/17
WEISS 561.8 561.4
NEELY HENRY 507.2 507.0
LOGAN MARTIN 461.8 461.9
LAY 395.9 396.2
MITCHELL 311.9 312.1
JORDAN 251.5 251.6
R.L.HARRIS 787.0 787.1
MARTIN 483.2 483.0
SMITH 506.2 505.8
BANKHEAD 254.9 254.7
HOLT 186.4 186.7
Pools are near their normal winter levels at most major reservoirs
and have remained fairly steady during the past week. Voluntary
and mandatory water restrictions are still in effect in some areas
but some restrictions have been lifted or eased recently.
PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
Dry weather has returned to Central Alabama in the wake of the wet
weather that affected the area early in the week. Dry weather will
continue across the area through Friday but another cold front will
bring chances for some generally light rain to the area Friday
night. Dry and cooler conditions will follow the front Saturday and
Sunday but then chances for rain will return during the first part
of next week as an unsettled weather pattern develops across the
southeastern U.S. Cumulative rainfall totals through next Wednesday
could average between one and two inches across much of Central
The Two Week Outlook...from February 24th through March 8th... calls
for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
The Longer-Range Outlook for the remainder of March through May is
for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above normal or
below normal precipitation.
The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through May indicates that
drought conditions are expected to improve or end across much of
The next statement will be issued around Thursday March 2nd.