Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Birmingham Al
1040 AM CDT Thu Mar 30 2017

... Drought Conditions Improve a Little Across Central Alabama ...

SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Extreme
Drought conditions are no longer found in Central Alabama.
However...Moderate to Severe Drought persistsn roughly north of a
line from York to Demopolis to Mertz to Calera to Goodwater to
Dickert to Graham. Remaining areas in Central Alabama are indicated
to be Abnormally Dry or Near Normal.

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...

Some beneficial rainfall occurred during the past week with one half
to two inches occurring over much of the area....with localized
higher totals. Much of this rain fell over the weekend with a storm
system that moved across the area. This rainfall produced some
improvement in the long term deficits found across the area and has
helped return the current stream flows as indicated by USGS Gauges
back to normal levels for much of Central Alabama.

Some precipitation amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from January
1st through March 29th...

BIRMINGHAM   14.89
MONTGOMERY   18.16
ANNISTON     14.63
TUSCALOOSA   14.93
CALERA       16.19
TROY         20.83

Normal Precipitation expected (inches)and Departure from Normal
(inches) January 1st through March 29th...


BIRMINGHAM   14.28  +0.61
MONTGOMERY   15.52  +2.64
ANNISTON     14.27  +0.36
TUSCALOOSA   14.93  +0.00
CALERA       15.30  +0.89
TROY         14.74  +6.09

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported at the
end of February that many water supplies had been replenished and
crops were responding to the increased moisture and warm weather.
Pastures have improved some but have not fully recovered although
they are in fair to good condition.  Most small grains were in good
condition but some sustained moderate to severe damage from the
recent frosts. Farmers have taken advantage of the recent mild
weather to begin the planting of corn.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

The Fire Danger Risk remains relatively low across Central Alabama
with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) generally 200 or less
across the area. 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
currently returned to near normal across much of Central Alabama for
this time of year. Periodic substantial rainfall will need to occur
for stream flows to remain at near normal or above normal levels as
we move into the spring season.

Many of the  major reservoir pool levels have begun to rise slowly
as reservoir operators are beginning to raise them toward their
summer poos levels.  Listed below are current levels for some of the
major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from March 23rd:

RESERVOIR            Level for 03/30/17     Level for 03/23/17

Weiss                       563.9                   563.4
Neely Henry                 506.7                   507.0
Logan Martin                463.7                   462.4
Lay                         395.7                   396.0
Mitchell                    311.8                   312.0
Jordan                      251.8                   251.5
R.L.Harris                  789.3                   787.9
Martin                      487.7                   487.3
Smith                       509.8                   509.8
Bankhead                    254.3                   254.6
Holt                        186.1                   186.7

SOCIAL IMPACTS...

Reservoir levels are slowly beginning to rise as reservoir operators
begin to raise them toward their summer pool levels. Although some
mostly voluntary water restrictions are still in effect many water
restrictions have been lifted by local water boards.

PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

Wet weather returned to Central Alabama over the past weekend into
the first part of this week and brought some beneficial rainfall.
More rainfall was beginning to move into Central Alabama today in
advance of a cold front and storm system that was approaching from
the west.  This weather system is expected to bring additional
rainfall this afternoon and tonight as the front moves across the
area. Dry weather will then follow the front on Friday through much
of the weekend. However...another weather system will begin to
approach Central Alabama from the west by Sunday night with more
rainfall forecast across the area by Monday and possibly continuing
into Tuesday.  Cumulative rainfall totals by next Wednesday could
average from three to four inches across Central Alabama.

The Two Week Outlook...from April 4th through April 12th... calls
for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation
transitioning to below normal.

The Longer-Range Outlook for the remainder of April through June is
for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above normal...
near normal or below normal precipitation.

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through June indicates that
drought conditions are expected to persist over about the northern
half of Central Alabama.

UPDATE STATEMENT...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday April 6th.


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