Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
932 AM CDT FRI MAY 18 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 are found from the extreme northern
portion of Tuscaloosa County northward across extreme southeast
Fayette County and extreme southwest Walker County. Moderate Drought
is found to the right of a line from north of Shottsville to Natural
Bridge to Blount Springs to West Jefferson to Ensley to Lake
Tuscaloosa to Mcshan to Forrest in northwest Central Alabama...and
over most of the area east of a line from Grady to near Carters Hill
to Lowndesboro to Weoka to Cleveland Crossroads to near Ranburne in
east and southeast Central Alabama. 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 occurred in association with an upper trough that
moved across the area last Friday into Saturday...but totals were
under an inch in most areas. However...some localized areas in the
northwest sections of Central Alabama received amounts of one to two
inches. No improvement was noted to the drought conditions across
the area...and most stream flows remain below normal levels across
much of Central Alabama for the time of year.

Some precipitation amounts (inches) for Central Alabama from January
1st through May 17th...

Birmingham   22.23
Montgomery   23.42
Anniston     22.46
Tuscaloosa   23.57
Calera       22.97
Troy         25.52

Normal Precipitation expected (inches)and Departure from Normal
(inches) January 1st through May 17th...

Birmingham   21.76  +0.47
Montgomery   21.88  +1.54
Anniston     21.09  +1.37
Tuscaloosa   21.59  +1.98
Calera       21.76  +1.21
Troy         20.68  +4.84

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that
planting of springs crops has been mostly completed. Pasture
conditions vary across the area ranging from fairly good in some
areas to still struggling in other areas. The wheat crop is reported
to be looking good in Marion County and the planting of corn...
cotton...peanuts and soybeans is still on-going in some areas.
Barbour County reports that corn is emerging and in good shape in
most places. Periodic rainfall will be needed to maintain the crops.
In general the majority of cattle and crops are reported to be in
fair or better condition.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

The Fire Danger Risk has increased somewhat across Central Alabama
with Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) showing some increase
during the past week. Values are currently ranging from 100 to 400
with isolated values above 400. Values above 500 indicate a Severe
Fire Danger.

Based on information received from the Alabama Forestry Commission,
many hardwoods and pine trees are dying due to infestation from pine
beetles and other pests. This is a direct result of the drought
since it has weakened many trees making them more susceptible to
insects and diseases. 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 Management 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 despite the rainfall
from last week. 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 and have remained fairly
steady during the past week. Listed below are current levels for
some of the major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from
May 12th.

RESERVOIR            LEVEL FOR 05/18/17     LEVEL FOR 05/12/17

Weiss                       563.8                   563.9
Neely Henry                 507.9                   507.9
Logan Martin                464.9                   464.7
Lay                         395.9                   395.6
Mitchell                    311.9                   311.9
Jordan                      251.3                   251.4
R.L. Harris                 793.0                   792.9
Martin                      489.6                   489.6
Smith                       510.0                   510.0
Bankhead                    254.8                   254.7
Holt                        186.6                   186.6

SOCIAL IMPACTS...

Reservoir levels are near or have reached their full summer pool
levels as a result of our spring rainfall. 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...

Some isolated to scattered rainfall is expected across Central
Alabama today through Saturday as daytime heating helps to trigger
some summer-like convection across the area. By Saturday night and
Sunday the upper level high pressure system that has dominated the
area through much of this week will weaken and shift eastward with
upper level troughing developing across the area by early next week.
This will result in much higher chances for rain by Saturday night
and Sunday...with chances for additional rainfall persisting into
the first half of next week. Cumulative rainfall totals through next
Wednesday are expected to average near or a little above two inches
in many areas.

The Two Week Outlook...from May 23rd through May 31st...calls for
below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation chances.

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

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through August indicates that
drought conditions are expected to improve with drought removal
possible in areas currently experiencing these conditions.

UPDATE STATEMENT...

The next statement will be issued around Thursday May 25th.


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