Thirsty Southern Drought Areas Likely to Finally See Widespread Soaking Rainfall This Week
By Chris Dolce
Nov 27 2016 08:56 AM EST
VIDEO ~ Soaking Rain for Dry Southeast
Some areas in the Southeast have not seen rain in more than 40 days. Wildfires have become a big problem in the region. But there is good news in the coming week, with rain in the forecast. Meteorologist Danielle Banks explains.
* A widespread soaking is finally on the way for the South this week.
* Parts of six states in the South are in exceptional drought, the worst category possible.
* One location in northeast Alabama had not seen rain for 89 straight days.
A well-needed soaking is on the way for parts of the southeastern United States in the throes of a major drought, where some locations have seen little, if any, rainfall for many weeks.
The potential for significant rainfall is courtesy of a more favorable jet-stream pattern taking shape during the first half of this week. A sharp, southward dip in the jet stream will pull a surge of Gulf of Mexico moisture northward into the Deep South early this week. This will result in some much-needed rainfall.
Specifically, a pronounced southward dip in the jet stream in the western states will punch eastward through Wednesday. Forecast guidance is suggesting that the strong jet stream, in combination with its associated surface frontal system, will pull a significant surge of Gulf of Mexico moisture northward into the Deep South.
This weather-pattern setup will likely deliver one of the most widespread soakings portions of the South have seen in a long time.
Locations in various degrees of drought, from eastern Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas to Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and the western Carolinas, all have the potential to see up to two inches of rainfall, possibly more in some locales, during the first half of this week.
Exactly how much rain falls will depend on how this weather system evolves and how quickly it moves. The rain will come in two rounds – one moving in late Monday into Tuesday, and then another Tuesday night into Wednesday. Potential Rainfall the Next Five Days
On the southern side of this storm system, there could also be severe storms. For more on that story, see the link below. Latest Drought Status, Dry Streaks and Impacts
Exceptional drought, the worst category on the U.S. Drought Monitor, is currently affecting parts of six states in the South. A much larger area of the South is experiencing various other levels of drought severity, from eastern Texas and southeast Oklahoma to the western Carolinas.
Alabama and Georgia lead the way with 35 percent and 34 percent of those states in exceptional drought, respectively. The percentage of Alabama in exceptional drought is the highest it has been since early 2008. Southeast drought status, as of Nov. 22, 2016. Parts of six states were in exceptional drought, which is the worst category possible.
Oneonta, Alabama, had not seen measurable rain (0.01 inches or greater) for 89 straight days through Nov. 18, until receiving just a scant 0.03 inches of rain the following day.
Many other cities in Georgia and Alabama also have extensive record-long streaks with no measurable rain. Record Streaks Without Measurable Rain
Through Nov. 26, 2016 (Data: ACIS)
* Cartersville, Georgia 69 days Previous record: 44 days ending October 20, 1938
* Dothan, Alabama 69 days Previous record: 49 days ending November 2, 1961
* Albany, Georgia 61 days Previous record: 27 days ending May 25, 2011
* Anniston, Alabama 61 days Previous record: 38 days ending July 1, 1988
* Rome, Georgia 60 days Previous record: 40 days ending October 10, 1897 https://weather.com/forecast/regional/news/southeast-drought-help-rainfall