Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
920 AM CDT THU APR 27 2017

... DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN CENTRAL ALABAMA ...

SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Moderate
to Severe Drought persists across portions of Central Alabama.
Severe Drought conditions persist from northern portions of
Tuscaloosa County northward across most of Walker County. Moderate
Drought is found over most of the area north and east of a line from
near Reform to Bucksville to Vandiver to Roselle to Lowndesboro to
Carters Hill to Lapine...and also over the southern two-thirds of
Marengo County. Elsewhere across Central Alabama Near Normal or
Abnormally Dry conditions are found.

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 rainfall spread across Central Alabama from Saturday night into
Monday morning but most totals were generally under an inch...
although localized areas mainly in the northern counties received
higher amounts to near two inches. Additional rainfall spread across
the area last night and this morning with most areal amounts to this
point averaging between one half and one and a half inches. Although
this has provided a little help to improve the drought conditions
across the area many USGS stream gauges are still indicating below
normal stream flows across most of the area.

Some precipitation amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from January
1st through April 26th...

Birmingham   19.93
Montgomery   19.92
Anniston     20.08
Tuscaloosa   21.16
Calera       20.62
Troy         22.83

Normal Precipitation expected (inches)and Departure from Normal
(inches) January 1st through April 26th...

Birmingham   18.40  +1.53
Montgomery   19.46  +0.46
Anniston     18.13  +1.95
Tuscaloosa   18.88  +2.28
Calera       18.95  +1.67
Troy         18.82  +4.01

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that
rainfall has been adequate for the time of year and planting of
crops is underway.  Pastures are greening up and starting to grow.
The wheat crop is reported to be progressing and many farmers have
begun the planting of corn...cotton and soybeans. With the planting
now underway in many areas periodic rainfall will be needed to bring
the seeds up and maintain the crops.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

The Fire Danger Risk has increased somewhat across Central Alabama
with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) showing a gradual increase
during the past couple of weeks. Values are currently ranging from
100 to 300 with some values now above 300 in some of the northwest
sections and east-central counties. 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 issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission,
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. Summer Burning Restrictions for non-agricultural
burns have been issued by the Alabama Department of Environmental
Affairs from May through October for the Central Alabama Counties of
Etowah, Jefferson, Montgomery, Russell, Shelby and Talladega.


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

The latest USGS Stream Gauge Data indicates that stream flows remain
below normal across much of Central Alabama for this time of year as
a lack of significant 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 20th.

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

Weiss                       564.0                   563.9
Neely Henry                 507.6                   507.6
Logan Martin                464.8                   464.8
Lay                         395.9                   395.7
Mitchell                    311.8                   311.8
Jordan                      251.6                   251.4
R.L. Harris                 793.0                   792.9
Martin                      489.4                   489.9
Smith                       510.0                   509.9
Bankhead                    254.6                   254.8
Holt                        186.3                   186.5

SOCIAL IMPACTS...

Reservoir levels are nearing or have reached their full 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...

A cold front brought rain overnight and into this morning but mostly
dry weather is expected to return by late this afternoon and
continue on Friday and Saturday. By late Sunday another storm system
approaching from the west will bring more chances for rain and
thunderstorms late Sunday afternoon and night.  Behind this weather
system mostly dry and slightly cooler conditions are expected for
the first part of next week.

The Two Week Outlook...from May 2nd through May 10th...calls for
below normal temperatures transitioning to near normal temperatures
and above normal precipitation chances.

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

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through July indicates that
drought conditions are expected to persist or redevelop across
Central Alabama.

UPDATE STATEMENT...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday May 4th.



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