Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Birmingham AL
740 AM CDT Thu Feb 16 2017

... Drought Conditions Improve Some Across Central Alabama ...

SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Extreme
Drought conditons are no longer found across Central Alabama.
Moderate to Severe Drought now covers areas roughly north of a line
from near Livingston to Clanton 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
categories:

D0...Abnormally Dry
D1...Moderate Drought
D2...Severe Drought
D3...Extreme Drought
D4...Exceptional Drought

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

Some rainfall occurred during the past week with most cumulative
totals generally averaging less than one inch with localized higher
amounts. This was not enough to provide major changes to the drought
conditions found across Central Alabama although some improvement
has occurred with Extreme Drought no longer indicated in Central
Alabama.

Some Precipitation Amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from
January 1st through February 15th...

Birmingham    8.94
Montgomery   13.00
Anniston      9.48
Tuscaloosa   10.24
Calera       10.18
Troy         15.69

Normal Precipitation expected (inches) and Departure From Normal
(inches) January 1st through February 15th...

Birmingham    7.21  +1.73
Montgomery    7.47  +5.52
Anniston      7.18  +2.30
Tuscaloosa    8.18  +2.06
Calera        8.43  +1.75
Troy          6.91  +8.78

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

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 has diminished across Central Alabama with
Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) below 100 across most of 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
decreased again and are currently running near to below normal at
most sites for this time of year. Periodic rainfall will need to
occur for stream flows to 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 9th:

Reservor             Level for 02/16/17     Level for 02/09/17

WEISS                       561.4                   561.1
NEELY HENRY                 507.0                   507.1
LOGAN MARTIN                461.9                   462.0
LAY                         396.2                   395.8
MITCHELL                    312.1                   312.0
JORDAN                      251.6                   251.6
R.L.HARRIS                  787.1                   787.1
MARTIN                      483.0                   483.2
SMITH                       505.8                   505.1
BANKHEAD                    254.7                   254.1
HOLT                        186.7                   186.0

SOCIAL IMPACTS...

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 a
cold front that moved across the area mid-week. Mostly dry weather
will prevail across the area through Friday. However enough moisture
will return to the area over the weekend with small chances for rain
returning mainly Friday night and Saturday morning. High pressure
will then build into the area into early next week keeping
conditions mostly dry into Wednesday.

The Two Week Outlook...from February 21st through March 1st... calls
for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation
transitioning to near normal.

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
Central Alabama.

UPDATE STATEMENT...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday February 23rd.


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