Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Birmingham, AL
AXUS74 KBMX 231428
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Birmingham AL
928 AM CDT THU MAR 23 2017
... DROUGHT CONDITIONS LINGER ACROSS MUCH OF CENTRAL ALABAMA ...
SYNOPSIS...The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that Extreme
Drought conditions persist across portions of Central Alabama.
Extreme Drought is now found to the right of a line from near Leeds
to Alabaster to Mccalla to Abernant to Bankhead Lock and Dam to
Tutwiler to Forestdale to Leeds. Moderate to Severe Drought covers
remaining areas roughly north of a line from Cuba to Fawnsdale to
Mertz to Calera to Goodwater to Dickert to Graham. Remaining areas
in south-central Alabama are indicated to be Abnormally Dry or Near
The Drought Monitor classifies drought within one of these five
A cold front brought some light rainfall to Central Alabama last
Friday night and Saturday. Cumulative totals were under a quarter of
an inch in most areas with isolated amounts to near one half inch in
northern sections. This was insufficient to reduce the effects of
the long term drought conditions across the area and stream flows
across the area have returned to below normal at most USGS Stream
Some Precipitation Amounts (inches) for Central
Alabama from January 1st through March 22nd...
Normal Precipitation expected (inches) and Departure From Normal
(inches) January 1st through March 22nd...
Birmingham 13.13 -0.69
Montgomery 14.19 +2.98
Anniston 13.20 -0.28
Tuscaloosa 13.00 +0.50
Calera 14.36 +0.18
Troy 13.12 +6.97
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported at the
end of February that many water supplies had been replenished and
crops were responding to the increased moisture and warm weather.
Pastures had improved and some producers had adequate hay supplies
to support their herd. Wheat and oats were looking good for the time
of year. Cattle were in generally good condition. Preparations were
being made for spring planting. Trees continue to bud out. It is not
known at this time how much the freezing temperatures earlier this
month may have damaged crops across the area.
FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...
The Fire Danger Risk remains low across Central Alabama with Keetch-
Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) below 100 across most of the area with
isolated areas between 100 and 200 in some northern areas. 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While the statewide Burn Ban has been rescinded, there remains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
once again fallen to below normal across much of Central Alabama for
this time of year. Periodic substantial rainfall will need to occur
for stream flows to return to near normal or above normal levels as
we move into the spring season.
Some of the major reservoir pool levels have begun to rise slowly
as reservoir operators are beginning to raise them toward their
summer poos levels. Listed below are current levels for some of the
major reservoirs across Central Alabama and those from March 16th:
Reservoir Level for 03/23/17 Level for 03/16/17
Weiss 563.4 562.7
Neely Henry 507.0 507.0
Logan Martin 462.4 461.9
Lay 396.0 395.9
Mitchell 312.0 312.1
Jordan 251.5 251.7
R.L.Harris 787.9 787.0
Martin 487.3 486.7
Smith 509.8 509.8
Bankhead 254.6 254.7
Holt 186.7 186.7
Reservoir levels are slowly beginning to rise as reservoir operators
begin to raise them toward their summer pool levels. Although some
mostly voluntary water restrictions are still in effect many water
restrictions have been lifted by local water boards.
PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
Dry weather returned to Central Alabma this week in the wake of the
cold front that moved across the area last weekend. Dry weather will
continue across the area today and Friday but a chance for some
rainfall will return over the weekend and into the first part of
next week as a series of weather systems move from the southwestern
U.S. northeastward and bring an unsettled weather pattern to the
area. Cumulate rainfall amounts are forecast to average from around
half an inch in the southeastern sections to an inch or more in the
western portions of the area by next Wednesday.
The Two Week Outlook...from March 28th through April 5th... calls
for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
The Longer-Range Outlook for April through June is for above normal
temperatures and equal chances for above normal...near normal or
below normal precipitation.
The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook through June indicates that
drought conditions are expected to persist over about the northern
half of Central Alabama.
The next statement will be issued around Thursday March 30th.