Rains do little to ease drought

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2011

A report released this week shows that extreme drought conditions in east Alabama remain unchanged, despite recent rains.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of eastern and central Alabama is still suffering from extreme drought, the monitor’s second-highest designation.

In all, almost one-third of Alabama is experiencing extreme drought.

Anthony Artusa of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wrote in the report that recent rainfall helped to increase soil moisture in Alabama and likely prevented drought conditions from worsening.

Much of Alabama has experienced at least abnormally dry conditions for the past 18 months.

The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies drought conditions in five stages, from least to most severe: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.