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Drought Watch: Dry Conditions Seep Toward State Line

Regional Drought Monitor (11/03/2016)
Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 17:07:47-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- The weekly release of drought conditions from the National Drought Mitigation Center showed worsening dryness conditions in many parts of the interior Southeast, and abnormally dry trends appearing through more of southern Georgia.

Many areas of the Southeast have received less than one inch of rain over the last 30 days.  At the same time, temperatures have been much above average in October.  The combination of these conditions is cited as the reason for broader severe and extreme drought conditions in middle and north Georgia and along the Chattahoochee River.

The lack of recent rainfall has eroded earlier surpluses, which is starting to translate into unusually dry soil moisture levels along and north of U.S. 84 in the Thursday assessment of the Drought Monitor.  Locations west of the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle are also being classified in the Moderate Drought category.  While most of the Gulf Coast region is in the typical dry season, less-than-average rain activity since September has accelerated the reduction of soil moisture sources.

Heavy rain from the tropical season in the central Big Bend and the Suwannee Valley have prevented drought conditions for the time being in these areas.  The rainfall surplus for Tallahassee International Airport remains around three inches, which is quite a decrease from a seven-inch surplus toward the end of summer.