Moderate drought condition seen statewide

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

Covington County, like most of the state, is seeing a severe rainfall shortage – despite a wet beginning in August.

Friday, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that almost a quarter of Alabama is experiencing moderate drought conditions and almost two-thirds of the state is categorized as abnormally dry.

The National Weather Service has reported the ground has dried out because of high temperatures and a lack of rainfall in recent weeks.

The Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow River Watershed Management Authority, who monitors rainfall totals locally at the Yellow River Bridge on Ala. Hwy. 55, recorded 3.28 inches in July – a figure down from the 6.56 inches recorded in 2009. Year-to-date totals show 29.84 inches have been recorded at the location. This time last year, 43.88 inches were recorded.

However, August has gotten off to a wet start as afternoon showers have dumped a total of 1.7 inches of rain on the county.

Friday afternoon, the heat index registered at 103 at the South Alabama Regional Airport, and weather reports predict rain chances varying from 40-60 percent each afternoon until Tuesday.

Today, there is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms throughout the day and the chances increase as the evenings progress.

On Sunday, it’s more of the same with a 50 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms after lunch.

Covington County is experiencing a severe rainfall shortage, despite a wet beginning in August. | Courtesy photo