Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Huntsville, AL

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AXUS74 KHUN 090019
DGTHUN
ALC033-043-049-059-071-077-079-083-089-095-103-TNC051-103-127-110030-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
619 PM CST THU DEC 8 2016

...RECENT RAINFALL BRINGS AN IMPROVEMENT IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS...BUT
DROUGHT STILL LINGERS...

SYNOPSIS...
ACCORDING TO THE DROUGHT MONITOR VALID TUESDAY...DECEMBER 6TH
2016...EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT /D4/ CONDITIONS WERE REMOVED FROM MOST
AREAS BUT REMAIN ONLY IN EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN PARTS OF DEKALB AND
CULLMAN COUNTIES...AND IN A VERY SMALL PORTION OF SOUTHERN MARSHALL
COUNTY. OTHER AREAS THAT WERE UNDER A D4 DROUGHT DESIGNATION ARE NOW
IN EXTREME DROUGHT /D3/ STATUS. MOST AREAS OF NORTHERN ALABAMA THAT
WERE IN D3 DROUGHT ARE NOW UNDER A SEVERE DROUGHT /D2/ DESIGNATION.
HOWEVER...A SMALL PORTION OF NORTHWESTERN LAUDERDALE COUNTY HAS BEEN
MOVED TO MODERATE DROUGHT /D1/ STATUS.

IN TENNESSEE...A ONE CATEGORY DROUGHT STATUS IMPROVEMENT WAS MADE
ACROSS NEARLY ALL OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE...INCLUDING FRANKLIN...LINCOLN
AND MOORE COUNTIES. NOW...MOST OF THESE COUNTIES ARE IN D2 DROUGHT
STATUS. ALTHOUGH...A SMALL PORTION OF D3 DROUGHT IS IN FAR
SOUTHEASTERN PORTIONS OF FRANKLIN COUNTY.

NOTE: PRECIPITATION AND OTHER CONDITIONS (STREAMFLOWS, SOIL
MOISTURE, ETC.) THAT DETERMINE DROUGHT DESIGNATIONS EACH WEEK FOR THE
U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR ARE BASED ON DATA THAT END AT 6 AM CST EACH
TUESDAY. SO...ANY PRECIPITATION THAT FALLS AFTER THE 6 AM CUTOFF IS
NOT FACTORED INTO DESIGNATIONS FOR THAT WEEK...BUT WILL OF COURSE BE
FACTORED INTO THE DROUGHT MONITOR DESIGNATIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING
WEEKLY ISSUANCE. ALSO...THE DESIGNATION OF DROUGHT IS A MULTI-FACETED
PROCESS THAT INCLUDES NUMEROUS DATA FROM A VARIETY OF PHYSICAL
SYSTEMS ON DIFFERENT SPACE AND TIME SCALES...INCLUDING NOT JUST
RAINFALL BUT SOIL MOISTURE...STREAMFLOWS...AND GROUNDWATER TO NAME A
FEW.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
STATE AND LOCAL DECLARATIONS: THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (ADECA) OFFICE OF WATER RESOURCES HAS PLACED ALL
ALABAMA COUNTIES IN THE HUNTSVILLE COUNTY WARNING AND FORECAST AREA
IN A `DROUGHT EMERGENCY`. THIS LEVEL OF DECLARATION WILL BE ISSUED
WHEN MOISTURE INDICATORS ARE NEAR THE LOWEST TWO PERCENT OF RECORDED
HISTORICAL CONDITIONS AND ARE APPROACHING OR ACHIEVING RECORD DRY
LEVELS. THE ALABAMA DROUGHT MONITORING AND IMPACTS GROUP SUBCOMMITTEE
OF THE ALABAMA DROUGHT ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING TEAM IS PLANNING TO
MEET NEXT WEEK...AND SOME DESIGNATIONS COULD BE CHANGED AT THAT TIME.

THE TENNESSEE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY /TEMA/ REMAINS IN A STATE
OF EMERGENCY DUE TO THE DRY CONDITIONS IN PLACE IN TENNESSEE.
RECENTLY...TEMA HAS INSTATED A LEVEL 3 OPERATIONS LEVEL. THIS MEANS
THAT EITHER AN EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED...OR THAT CONDITIONS ARE
DETERIORATING RAPIDLY ACROSS THE REGION. WHILE WIDESPREAD DUTY
PERSONNEL ARE NOT CALLED TO DUTY...ONLY SPECIFICALLY-NEEDED PERSONNEL
ARE REQUIRED.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...SINCE THE PRIMARY GROWING SEASON HAS NOW ENDED
IN THE REGION...CROP AND PROGRESS CONDITION REPORTS ARE NO LONGER
BEING ISSUED FROM THE USDA NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE.
NEVERTHELESS...D3 AND D4 DROUGHT CONDITIONS EARLIER IN THE GROWING
SEASON RESULTED IN DISASTER DECLARATIONS FOR ALL OF THE COUNTIES IN
THE HUNTSVILLE COUNTY WARNING AND FORECAST AREA AS PRIMARY NATURAL
DISASTER AREAS DUE TO DAMAGES AND LOSSES CAUSED BY THE RECENT
DROUGHT. THIS INCLUDES THE COUNTIES OF
COLBERT...CULLMAN...DEKALB...FRANKLIN (AL)...FRANKLIN (TN)...
JACKSON...LAUDERDALE...LINCOLN...MADISON...MARSHALL...MOORE...
MORGAN...LAWRENCE...AND LIMESTONE.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...
ON DECEMBER 5TH...GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY AND INTERIM STATE FORESTER
GARY COLE HAVE RESCINDED THE STATEWIDE DROUGHT EMERGENCY `NO BURN`
ORDER...WHICH WAS IN EFFECT SINCE EARLY NOVEMBER. NEVERTHELESS...THE
ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION ADVISES ANYONE CONDUCTING OUTDOOR BURNING
TO FOLLOW SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. ANY FIRE MORE THAN A QUARTER ACRE IN
SIZE OR WITHIN 25 FEET OF A FORESTED AREA REQUIRES A PERMIT FROM THE
AFC.

FOR THE YEAR TO DATE...3,658 FIRES HAVE OCCURRED ACROSS THE STATE OF
ALABAMA...CHARRING APPROXIMATELY 49,415 ACRES. OF THOSE...769 FIRES
HAVE OCCURRED IN THE LAST 30 DAYS...BURNING ABOUT 11,394 ACRES. HERE
IS A BREAKDOWN OF FIRES BY COUNTY SINCE JANUARY 1ST /AND THE ACREAGE
BURNED AS A RESULT FOR EACH COUNTY IN THE HUNTSVILLE COUNTY WARNING
AND FORECAST AREA:

COUNTY NAME...YTD FIRES/ACRES BURNED
COLBERT........54/277
CULLMAN........57/1242
DEKALB........301/3264
FRANKLIN.......26/189
JACKSON........83/578
LAUDERDALE.....40/190
LAWRENCE.......41/539
LIMESTONE......49/400
MADISON........15/54
MARSHALL.......67/410
MORGAN.........51/313

THESE DATA ARE PROVIDED BY THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION AND ARE
UPDATED DAILY ON THEIR WEBSITE (PROVIDED AT THE END OF THIS
STATEMENT). THESE DATA ARE ONLY VALID ON THE DAY THAT THE DROUGHT
STATEMENT IS ISSUED. PLEASE REFER TO THEIR WEBSITE FOR THE MOST
RECENT FIRE INFORMATION.

IN TENNESSEE FROM THE MOST RECENT REPORT DATED DECEMBER
2ND...APPROXIMATELY 1,427 FIRES HAVE BURNED 44,027 ACRES. NO MAJOR
FIRES WERE CURRENTLY REPORTED IN FRANKLIN...LINCOLN OR MOORE
COUNTIES.

CURRENTLY...THE STATE OF TENNESSEE HAS DECLARED A BURN BAN FOR 47
COUNTIES...WHICH ARE ALL IN MIDDLE OR EAST TENNESSEE. THE COUNTY OF
FRANKLIN IS INCLUDED IN THIS BAN. OTHERWISE...PER THE TENNESSEE
DIVISION OF FORESTRY...A BURN PERMIT IS CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO CONDUCT
ANY OUTDOOR OPEN BURNING OF DEBRIS. THIS INCLUDES MOORE AND LINCOLN
COUNTIES. CITIZENS ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BURN PERMITS AND FOLLOW
OUTDOOR BURNING SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS. PEOPLE CONDUCTING OUTDOOR
BURNING ARE ALSO URGED TO CHECK FOR ANY LOCAL RESTRICTIONS PRIOR TO
CONDUCTING BURNING ACTIVITY. CITIZENS MAY OBTAIN BURN PERMITS BY
GOING TO WWW.BURNSAFETN.ORG.

DUE TO RECENT RAINFALL...THE KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI)
AVAILABLE FROM THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE WILDLAND FIRE ASSESSMENT
SYSTEM SHOWS THE VALUES HAVE DECREASED MARKEDLY. VALUES NOW RANGE
FROM AROUND 300 TO 400 ALONG A WIDE SWATH OF NORTHWESTERN AND NORTH
CENTRAL ALABAMA INTO SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE. SOME AREAS OF FAR
NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA AND NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA CONTAIN VALUES AROUND
400 TO 500.

OTHER IMPACTS: DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE DROUGHT...LOCAL NEWS REPORTED
THAT MANY HOME FOUNDATION REPAIR BUSINESSES IN NORTHERN ALABAMA WERE
BUSY BECAUSE DRY CONDITIONS HAD CAUSED LARGE CRACKS AND OTHER DAMAGE
TO HOME FOUNDATIONS. ALSO...COUNTY OFFICIALS ESPECIALLY IN
NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA REPORTED THAT LARGE NUMBERS OF CRACKS HAD APPEARED
ON ROADWAYS DUE TO THE DROUGHT. THIS INCLUDED PORTIONS OF THE
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY IN NORTHWESTERN ALABAMA AND ADJACENT AREAS.
THERE ARE ALSO SPOTTY REPORTS OF OTHER ROADWAYS IN THE
CENTRAL/EASTERN PORTIONS OF THE COUNTY WARNING AREA /CWA/ THAT ARE
EXPERIENCING ISSUES/DAMAGE DUE TO THE DROUGHT.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
BENEFICIAL RAINFALL OCCURRED AGAIN DURING THE PAST WEEK ACROSS THE
REGION. WIDESPREAD RAINFALL AMOUNTS TOTALED FOUR TO FIVE INCHES..WITH
A FEW SPOTS IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA RECEIVING MORE THAN SIX INCHES.
SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WEST AND IN SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF CULLMAN AND
MARSHALL COUNTY RECEIVED AROUND THREE INCHES OR MORE. STILL...THESE
TOTALS WERE MUCH ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE WEEK. TEMPERATURES OVER THE
PAST WEEK HAVE WAVERED BACK AND FORTH FROM BELOW TO ABOVE
NORMAL...BUT HAVE AVERAGED NEAR NORMAL.

OVER THE LONG TERM...PRECIPITATION DEFICITS STILL EXIST ON LONGER
TERM TIME SCALES. AT 90-DAY TIME SCALES...RAINFALL DEFICITS ARE STILL
ON THE ORDER OF ABOUT SIX TO EIGHT INCHES AT MOST LOCATIONS.
ALTHOUGH...DEFICITS HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO AROUND THREE TO SIX INCHES
IN PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE. FOR
THE YEAR TO DATE...PRECIPITATION DEFICITS ARE STILL RATHER
LARGE...WITH RAINFALL AROUND EIGHT TO AS MUCH AS ABOUT SIXTEEN INCHES
BELOW NORMAL AT MOST LOCATIONS. MEANWHILE...TEMPERATURES HAVE
AVERAGED WELL ABOVE NORMAL FOR MOST OF THE YEAR WHICH HAS HELPED LEAD
TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTENANCE OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS. THE RECENT
METEOROLOGICAL FALL (SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER) RANKS AS THE WARMEST
ON RECORD AT HUNTSVILLE AND MUSCLE SHOALS AND SECOND WARMEST AT
SCOTTSBORO. FOR THE YEAR TO DATE...THIS ALSO RANKS AS THE WARMEST
YEAR ON RECORD FOR HUNTSVILLE...AND SECOND WARMEST AT MUSCLE SHOALS
AND SCOTTSBORO.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
GENERALLY COLD AND DRY WEATHER WITH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE
EXPECTED THROUGH MOST OF THE WEEKEND. RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO RETURN
TO THE REGION BY EARLY IN THE WEEK WITH AMOUNTS GENERALLY TOTALING
AROUND ONE HALF INCH TO ONE INCH. TEMPERATURES WILL MODERATE EARLY IN
THE WEEK WITH THE RETURN OF THE RAINFALL...BUT WILL BECOME COLDER
AGAIN BY THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

THE OUTLOOK FOR WEEK TWO /DEC 16TH - 22ND/ FROM THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER SLIGHTLY FAVORS BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
MODERATELY FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

THE LATEST SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR THE WINTER PERIOD (DECEMBER THROUGH
FEBRUARY) FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE REGION.
HOWEVER...EQUAL CHANCES EXIST FOR BELOW...NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION. TYPICALLY DURING LA NINA WINTERS...DRIER THAN NORMAL
CONDITIONS ARE PREVALENT IN THE GULF COAST REGION AND ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR PARTS OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE
MIDWEST. IN BETWEEN THESE REGIONS IN THE TENNESSEE VALLEY...RESULTS
ARE OFTEN MIXED...WITH SOME WINTERS EXPERIENCING WETTER THAN NORMAL
CONDITIONS AND OTHERS EXPERIENCING DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS. THE
LATEST SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK VALID FROM NOVEMBER 17TH TO FEBRUARY
28TH INDICATES THAT DROUGHT IS LIKELY TO PERSIST ACROSS THE REGION
THROUGH THE PERIOD. THIS INCLUDES ALL OF NORTHERN ALABAMA AND
ADJACENT AREAS OF SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
RIVER AND CREEK STREAMFLOWS HAVE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY AT MOST
LOCATIONS FROM RECENT LOW AND HISTORIC LOW FLOWS. MOST SITES ACROSS
THE AREA ARE REPORTING BETWEEN ~30TH PERCENTILE AND THE ~50TH
PERCENTILE. ALTHOUGH...A COUPLE OF STREAMS IN DEKALB COUNTY INCLUDING
SOUTH SAUTY CREEK AND BIG WILLS CREEK ARE STILL REPORTING FLOWS IN
THE 20TH TO 30TH PERCENTILES.

LAKE AND RIVER LEVELS ALONG THE HEAVILY REGULATED TENNESSEE RIVER
SYSTEM HAVE LARGELY BEEN UNAFFECTED BY THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS THIS
YEAR AND ARE OPERATING WITHIN OR NEAR NORMAL POOL LEVELS.
HOWEVER...GUNTERSVILLE AND WHEELER LAKES ARE A LITTLE ABOVE THEIR
NORMAL POOL LEVELS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. LEWIS SMITH LAKE HAD BEEN
OPERATING BELOW ITS NORMAL GUIDE CURVE SINCE EARLY SUMMER...BUT
VALUES ARE NOW JUST A LITTLE ABOVE THEN NORMAL LOW POOL LEVEL FOR
THIS TIME OF YEAR.

ACCORDING TO THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...THE LATEST DAILY SOIL
MOISTURE RANKINGS AS OF DECEMBER 7TH ARE FINALLY SHOWING SOME
IMPROVEMENT IN DEEPER LAYER SOILS. ALTHOUGH STILL LOW...SOIL
MOISTURE RANKINGS HAVE NOW RISEN TO THE 10TH TO 20TH PERCENTILES
ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA. HOWEVER...SOIL MOISTURE RANKINGS IN PARTS OF
NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA ARE STILL AROUND THE 5TH TO 10TH PERCENTILES.

THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY GROUNDWATER WELL SITE IN CULLMAN COUNTY
SHOWS THAT GROUNDWATER LEVELS FELL BELOW THE DAILY MEDIAN VALUE
DURING THE MARCH TO LATE APRIL PERIOD AND HAVE SINCE REMAINED BELOW
AVERAGE SINCE THAT TIME. WATER LEVELS DROPPED RAPIDLY FROM SEPTEMBER
TO LATE NOVEMBER...AND REBOUNDED A LITTLE IN EARLY DECEMBER...BUT
HAVE SINCE FALLEN AGAIN. VALUES ARE ABOUT FEET BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS
TIME OF YEAR. GROUNDWATER LEVELS AT THE MONITORING SITE IN LAWRENCE
COUNTY DECLINED RAPIDLY FROM EARLY SEPTEMBER TO LATE NOVEMBER...BUT
ROSE SHARPLY AFTER THE RECENT RAINFALL. VALUES THAT WERE ABOUT 10
FEET BELOW NORMAL ARE NOW CLOSE TO THE MEDIAN VALUE FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR.

THE OUTLOOK FOR SOIL MOISTURE AND STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS OVER THE
NEXT WEEK IS FOR CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT DUE TO THE EXPECTED
PRECIPITATION AND COLDER TEMPERATURES.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...THE NEXT DROUGHT STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED
THURSDAY...DECEMBER 15TH.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...
/USE LOWER CASE/

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR WEB PAGE...HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ALABAMA DROUGHT DECLARATIONS...VISIT
HTTP://WWW.ADECA.ALABAMA.GOV/DIVISIONS/OWR/PAGES/DEFAULT.ASPX

FOR INFORMATION FROM THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION...VISIT
HTTP://FORESTRY.ALABAMA.GOV/

WILDFIRE INFORMATION FROM THE ALABAMA FORESTRY COMMISSION...
HTTP://FORESTRY.ALABAMA.GOV/FIRE_TOTALS.ASPX?BV=1&S=4

RADAR ESTIMATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM...
HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/PRECIP

STREAMFLOWS ARE OBTAINED FROM THE USGS AT...
HTTP://WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV/INDEX.PHP

LAKE LEVELS FOR THE TENNESSEE RIVER LAKES CAN BE OBTAINED FROM
HTTP://WWW.TVA.COM/LAKEINFO/

USGS GROUNDWATER WELL SITE INFORMATION FOR ALABAMA...
HTTP://WATERDATA.USGS.GOV/AL/NWIS/CURRENT/
?TYPE=GW&GROUP_KEY=COUNTY_CD

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...

SOME DATA USED IN THIS STATEMENT WERE PROVIDED BY THE U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE...THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY...THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY...AND THE STATES OF ALABAMA AND
TENNESSEE.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ON THE DROUGHT...CONTACT:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE
320A SPARKMAN DRIVE
HUNTSVILLE AL 35805
PHONE: 256-890-8503
SR-HUN.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

KDW/AMIN



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