Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Atlanta, GA
AXUS72 KFFC 271558
DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT FOR NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
1158 AM EDT APR 27 2017
...LONG-TERM SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONTINUES ACROSS NORTH
GEORGIA WITH SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT...
...SHORT-TERM MODERATE DROUGHT CONTINUES ACROSS CENTRAL GEORGIA
WITH SMALL CHANGES...
Following a relatively quiet middle of the month, the latter part of
April has been marked by more defined periods of convection, with a
combination of both more organized frontal activity, and more
diurnally-based convection due to warm afternoon temperatures. The
majority of the rainfall occurred over north Georgia, and mainly
during the April 22-24 period. This rainfall has improved the
drought conditions, particularly across north Georgia.
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. The deeper
soil profile still highlights the moderate to severe drought
conditions over portions of north Georgia, which is a slight
improvement since the last Drought Statement.
Overall, the long-term drought persists with only slight changes
over the last two weeks. The Extreme Drought region in the far north
remains has improved, with the areal coverage nearly cut in half.
The remaining Extreme Drought extends from Jasper, to Dahlonega, to
Clarkesville. The Severe Drought has also improved, but generally
remains as a one-county border around the Extreme Drought - or
within a Blairsville, to Toccoa, to Lumpkin, to Calhoun, to
Ellijay, to Blue Ridge perimeter.
Drought conditions have ended across portions of far northwest
Georgia, and generally along and south of the I-20 corridor,
extending from Newnan, to Stockbridge, to Madison, to Lexington.
A recently introduced short-term drought continues across all of
central Georgia due to anomalously low year-to-date rainfall totals.
A one category degradation over the last two weeks now places the
majority of this area in Moderate Drought, generally south of a line
from West Point, to Barnesville, to Eatonton, to Louisville.
RIVER AND STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS.
Some hydrological impacts to the water supply are still occurring,
though there has been significant improvement from earlier in the
year. Stream flows and ground water tables are still low across some
locations in far northeast Georgia and into portions of central
Georgia. Some portions of the Upper and Middle Upper Chattahoochee
River continue to be below or much below normal, although record low
flows are no longer occurring.
Stream flows are normal to above normal across north and northwest
Georgia, and in portions of eastern Georgia in the headwaters of the
Oconee and Ocmulgee River basins, reflecting the improved drought
conditions in those areas.
FIRE DANGER HAZARDS.
The latest fire danger assessment indicates a low risk across the
majority of north and central Georgia, and a moderate risk across
portions of east central Georgia. Please note that this assessment
can change rapidly due to changes in moisture levels and rainfall
Over the last two weeks, generally 2 to 6 inches of rainfall
occurred over north and eastern Georgia, generally north of a line
from Cedartown, to Decatur, to Eatonton, to Thomson. These rainfall
amounts were 110 to 400 percent of normal. There was a small area of
below 2 inches within this region in the northwest and north Atlanta
metro area, which was closer to 75 to 100 percent of normal.
Across central Georgia, rainfall amounts were generally 0.25 to 1.0
inches, with some pockets of up to 1.5 inches. These rainfall
amounts were generally 10 to 75 percent of normal.
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 39.93 49.71 -9.78 80%
ATHENS 43.65 46.33 -2.68 94%
COLUMBUS 36.93 46.75 -9.82 79%
MACON 34.83 45.68 -10.85 76%
CARTERSVILLE 37.26 49.93 -12.67 75%
NE ATLANTA 36.50 52.97 -16.47 69%
WEST ATLANTA 33.92 51.17 -17.25 66%
GAINESVILLE 36.39 53.98 -17.59 67%
PEACHTREE CITY 30.20 49.99 -19.79 60%
ROME 38.15 51.92 -13.77 73%
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
Current lake levels at USACE Projects were mainly below summer pool
levels, ranging from around 2 feet below summer pool at West Point
to around 8 feet below at Thurmond and Lanier. The exceptions were
Carters Lake and Allatoona, which were 2.5 feet above summer pool
and at summer pool, respectively.
The pool levels are projected to remain near steady or slightly
increase for the next four weeks, except for a slight decrease for
Carters Lake, and varied elevation trends at West Point.
Summer pool level are considered the target elevation through the
summer and into the fall months, and the elevation departure will be
relative to the summer pool level until further notice.
Lake Summer Pool Current Level Departure
Allatoona 840 839.83 -0.12
Carters 1074 1075.55 +2.55
Hartwell 660 652.32 -7.68
Lanier 1071 1063.01 -7.99
Thurmond 330 321.98 -8.02
West Point 635 632.95 -2.05
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, particularly in the Upper and
Middle Upper Chattahoochee basin. The zones of heaviest rainfall in
the northwest and portions of eastern Georgia have 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
For the May...the outlook for north and central Georgia has a
greater chance for above normal temperatures and 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,
May 11, 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