Drought expanding quickly across Alabama

Drought conditions are impacting about one-third of the state
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 11:28 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Despite the year being wetter than normal for many across Alabama, drought conditions have expanded and worsened of late. Remember the 10 inches of rain Montgomery received in August? Yeah, that’s history.

Drought conditions can develop even if it was really wet earlier in the year. September was very dry, and October has been dry. That combination has led to abnormally dry to drought conditions across much of Alabama.

Drought conditions expanded across Alabama.
Drought conditions expanded across Alabama.(WSFA 12 News)

More than 75% of the state is at least abnormally dry per the October 27th U.S. Drought Monitor update. About 32% of the state is in some sort of drought and more than 8% is now in the “severe drought” category. There is no “extreme drought” or “exceptional drought” in Alabama at this time.

The last time at least 32% of Alabama was in a drought was three years ago back in late October of 2019. Drought conditions have been present at times since then, but that’s the last time we were seeing a drought as expansive as what’s occurring right now.

Drought conditions have expanded across Alabama.
Drought conditions have expanded across Alabama.(WSFA 12 News)

Rain is in the forecast this weekend and another round of light rain is possible as November kicks off. This will be beneficial rainfall for us, but it won’t completely rid the dry conditions. It will take much more than what is in the forecast to eliminate the dry and drought conditions.

Forecast models are calling for roughly 1/2″ to 1″ of rain this weekend. Some spots may see more than 1″ and some may not get to 1/2″ of rain, but that seems to be the consensus range with this weekend’s system. Another light rain accumulation of less than 1/4″ is possible next week, then it looks dry once again.

I’d expect abnormally dry to drought conditions to hang tough across much of Alabama for at least the next few weeks. It may stay that way for the rest of 2022 based on long-range forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center.

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