Drought Monitor: Parts of Alabama remain abnormally dry

Some saw a good helping of rain this week
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The latest Drought Monitor update continues to highlight plenty of Alabama counties as being either abnormally or in a moderate drought. This comes despite the recent surge of rainfall this week.

The southern half of the state is doing better than those across northern Alabama.

The July 14th Drought Monitor update.
The July 14th Drought Monitor update.(WSFA 12 News)

Hardly anyone south of U.S. 80 is experiencing dryness issues, but the same cannot be said along and north of that corridor. Abnormal dryness is being felt from Demopolis to Marion to Selma to Clanton to Wetumpka to Auburn.

Abnormal dryness and moderate drought are being reported in West Alabama from Sumter and Greene counties northward to Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison counties.

The numbers across the state look like this:

  • Percentage of state not experiencing dryness issues: 60.49%
  • Percentage of state that is abnormally dry: 30.64%
  • Percentage of state in moderate drought: 8.81%
  • Percentage of state in severe drought: 0.06%
Total radar estimated rainfall over the last week.
Total radar estimated rainfall over the last week.(WSFA 12 News/NWS)

Many saw a good helping of rainfall this week, but a good portion of it didn’t fall in areas that needed it most. Most towns not experiencing any sort of dryness or drought saw plenty of rain -- upwards of three to seven inches in spots!

So it’s likely that if your town is drought-free this week, it will stay that way when next Thursday’s (July 21st) update comes out. There were still several towns and communities that needed rain and picked plenty up over the last several days. I’d bet the amount of us seeing “abnormally dry” conditions will come down a bit with the next update.

Total rainfall over the last week compared to normal as a percentage.
Total rainfall over the last week compared to normal as a percentage.(WSFA 12 News/NWS)

The hefty rain totals came came courtesy of very heavy rainfall produced over relatively short periods from tropical thunderstorms. On the map above, areas highlighted in purple-ish colors have picked up 300% to 600% of what’s considered “normal” rain over the last week.

That’s a whopping three to six times more rain that what is normally seen over a 7-day stretch in parts of Butler, Chambers, Chilton, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Escambia, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pike, and Russell counties.

But not everyone saw soaking tropical rainfall this past week. Many neighborhoods picked up between a quarter of an inch and an inch and a half. That’s still not awful, but it won’t help alleviate any dryness being experienced in your yard, garden and lawn.

So is the name of the game in Alabama during the summer months...

Some see several inches of rain and even flash flooding, some just miles away get next to nothing. That’s what we mean when we saw “isolated” or “scattered” pop-up showers, downpours and thunderstorms!

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