Southeast Saturated During Current El Niño

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.

Once covered in drought conditions, the Southeast now has sufficient moisture. If the persistent rains being felt amid the current El Niño weather pattern didn’t provide enough of a clue, it is once again reflected in the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

There are no indications of abnormally dry conditions in either Alabama or Georgia. Both states have sufficient moisture.

Only a small fragment of the west coast of Florida has abnormally dry conditions. They are present in parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. The rest of Florida has sufficient moisture.

The adequate moisture is not surprising since the winter has been blanketed by the El Niño pattern. It involves pressure changes that lead to a subtropical jet stream moving into Florida, southern Georgia and Alabama, leading to cloudy, rainy weather during the winter. The chances of tornadoes and severe weather increases in the Florida peninsula during an El Niño year.

Source: University of Georgia Research