Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Atlanta, GA
AXUS72 KFFC 131603
DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT FOR NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
1203 PM EDT APR 13 2017
...LONG-TERM SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONTINUES ACROSS NORTH
GEORGIA WITH SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT...
...SHORT-TERM DROUGHT CONDITIONS WITH LITTLE TO NO CHANGE FOR
It has been a tale of two weeks since the last statement. The first
week in April was characterized by a roller coaster of storm systems
resulting in multiple waves of severe weather across the area. The
main storm systems occurred on Monday, April 3rd and Wednesday,
April 5th. The latter of the two was more vigorous with multiple
rounds of severe storms bringing all the main threats of tornadoes,
large hail, damaging winds, and some localized flooding across
portions of north and central Georgia. This system was to blame for
the vast majority of the two-week total rainfall amounts, generally
2 to 5 inches across much of north Georgia and far south central
Georgia. The second week in April brought a reprieve of much less
active weather as it stayed largely dominated by dry high pressure.
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS.
Recent rainfall has allowed for some improvement across the state,
as the shallow soil layer is generally Abnormally Moist to Wet. The
deeper soil profile still highlights the severe to extreme drought
conditions over portions of north Georgia, even with recent
Overall, the long-term drought persists with only slight changes
over the last two weeks. The Extreme Drought region in the far north
remains nearly unchanged, and continues to generally extend from
Calhoun, to Ellijay, to Dahlonega to Helen. There was a one category
improvement from Severe to Moderate Drought conditions across parts
of north Georgia, mainly from Buchanan, to north Atlanta metro, to
Homer. There is even a small region south of the Atlanta metro that
has improved out of the Abnormally Dry region. This zone extends
from LaGrange, to McDonough, to Griffin.
A recently introduced short-term drought continues across virtually
all of central Georgia as anomalously low rainfall over the last 30
to 60 days has resulted in Abnormally Dry conditions. It normally
takes at least three consecutive months of above normal rainfall to
consider ending a drought.
RIVER AND STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS.
Some significant hydrological impacts to the water supply are still
occurring and stream flows and ground water tables are very low
across some locations in far north Georgia and also extending across
portions of central Georgia. Some headwaters of the Chattahoochee
River continue to be excessively dry, with some locations still near
record low streamflow levels.
FIRE DANGER HAZARDS.
The latest fire danger assessment indicates a moderate to high risk
across the majority of north and central Georgia. Please note that
this assessment can change rapidly due to changes in moisture levels
and rainfall received.
Over the last two weeks, generally 2 to 5 inches of rainfall
occurred over north Georgia, generally north of a line from
Franklin, to Griffin, to Washington and also in the far southern
tier of central Georgia from Lumpkin to Dublin. These rainfall
amounts were 110 to 300 percent of normal, and have contributed
to the slight improvement of drought conditions for portions of
Otherwise a swath over the remainder of central Georgia, including
Columbus and Macon, experienced just 1 to 2 inches, or 75 to 100
percent of normal. This area has remained in the abnormally dry
classification with little change.
Given that the drought is expected to continue into the summer, the
total rainfall and departures listed in the table below will be
based on 365 days until further notice.
Location Total Rainfall Normal Departure Percent
365 Days Value from Normal of Normal
ATLANTA 39.31 49.71 -10.40 79%
ATHENS 41.06 46.33 -5.27 89%
COLUMBUS 37.65 46.75 -9.10 81%
MACON 35.24 45.68 -10.44 77%
CARTERSVILLE 36.45 49.93 -13.48 73%
NE ATLANTA 34.70 52.97 -18.27 66%
WEST ATLANTA 33.53 51.17 -17.64 66%
GAINESVILLE 34.38 53.98 -19.60 64%
PEACHTREE CITY 30.44 49.99 -19.55 61%
ROME 35.67 51.92 -16.25 69%
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
Now that we are in April, the elevation departure will be relative
to the Summer Pool, which at this point in the year would be
considered the new target elevation level.
Current lake levels at USACE Projects were mainly below summer pool
levels, ranging from around 1 foot below summer pool at Allatoona
to around 9 feet below at Hartwell. The only exception was Carters
Lake, which now is about 1 foot above the new summer pool target.
The pool levels are projected to remain near steady for the next four
weeks, except for a slight rise at Lake West Point and slight
decrease for Carters Lake.
Lake Summer Pool Current Level Departure
Allatoona 840 839.26 -0.74
Carters 1074 1075.16 +1.16
Hartwell 660 650.99 -9.01
Lanier 1071 1062.47 -8.53
Thurmond 330 321.82 -8.18
West Point 635 633.51 -1.49
Additional lake levels are available at the link provided in the
RELATED WEBSITES section below.
Stream levels across far north Georgia over the last 14 days have
continued to be near to below normal, which is the case for much
of central Georgia. The zone of heaviest rainfall in the southern
part of north Georgia has responded to above and much above normal
levels. Please note that creeks and smaller rivers can change
quickly due to runoff from heavy rain if it occurs.
For the rest April...the outlook for north and central Georgia
has a greater chance for above normal temperatures and near equal
chances of above or below normal precipitation.
90 Day Outlook...for May through July...continued above normal
temperatures and equal chances of above or below normal
precipitation are expected.
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement is scheduled for Thursday,
April 27, 2017.
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following websites:
NWS WFO Atlanta: www.weather.gov/atlanta
NWS WFO Atlanta - Drought Resources: weather.gov/ffc/raindef
NWS WFO Atlanta - Lake Levels: weather.gov/ffc/rrm
NOAA AHPS - Rainfall Totals: water.weather.gov/precip
U.S. Drought Portal: www.drought.gov
U.S. Drought Monitor: www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu
Climate Prediction Center: www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
Office of the Georgia State Climatologist:
U.S. Geological Survey - Water Resources of Georgia:
Georgia Forestry Commission - Fire Weather Assessments:
This data was furnished by the National Weather Service in
cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Georgia State
Climatologist in Atlanta, the Georgia Environmental Protection
Division, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Current Fire Danger
Assessments were provided by the Georgia Forestry COmmission.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have any questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:
NWS WFO Atlanta
4 Falcon Drive Peachtree City, GA 30269