Abnormally Dry Conditions Minimal Across SE

Clint ThompsonDrought

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC.

Last fall should seem like a long time ago for specialty crop producers in the Southeast (SE). An extended drought lingered for multiple months throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama during that time period. That drought is not the case anymore, however, according to latest release of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Minimal drought is present across the region, which includes no abnormally dry conditions in Georgia. The entire state has sufficient moisture. Only a small part of the northwest corner of Lauderdale County in Northwest Alabama is abnormally dry. The rest of Alabama has sufficient moisture.

A small fraction of the west coast of Florida is abnormally dry. The dry conditions are present in parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The lack of dry conditions correlates to the current El Niño weather pattern that has brought consistent rains all winter long. It is also not a surprise to Pam Knox, University of Georgia Extension agricultural climatologist.

“We’ve been pretty wet this spring. It’s not unsual, it’s an El Niño, so we expect it to be wet over the winter,” Knox said. “This year it’s certainly been true. I think we’re starting out the growing season with a good amount of moisture, maybe a little too much for the farmers who want to get in the fields.”

She also noted in her UGA Climate and Agriculture Blog, “since there will be quite a bit of rain across the region in the next week, I expect to  see further reductions on next week’s map.”