Drought conditions improving

Published 12:05 am Saturday, July 7, 2012


The more than 13 inches of rainfall Covington County received in May and June has brought the county from an extreme/severe drought to only abnormally dry.

Statistics from the U.S. Drought Monitor show the entire county is under abnormally dry conditions, compared to April when the county was split nearly evenly with the northern portion that was experiencing an extreme drought, while the southern half, experienced a severe drought.

Rainfall totals, collected at the Yellow River collection site by the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow River Watershed Management Authority show that 7.08 inches of rain occurred in May and 6.16 inches in June. In the last seven days, the county has seen .6 inches of rain.

Rainfall totals for 2012 through June are 27.76 inches, compared to only 19.52 inches this time last year.

In April, Dr. John Christy, state climatologist, predicted that 10.5 inches of rainfall was needed to end the drought.

“June was both cool and wet,” Christy said Friday. “It was, in fact, the coolest June in the past five years for most stations in Alabama. A total of 56 daily rainfall records were set in June. That includes 27 records set on June 11 stretching from Bay Minette to Scottsboro, where 2.4 inches of rain that fell that day doubled the record set on June 11, 1909.

“Of course, most of the record rainfall was concentrated along the Gulf Coast,” he said. “So, yes, June was both cool and wet, right up until it turned dry and wickedly hot. It was very much a tale of two Junes, cool and hot, wet and then dry. The contrast between the first two dozen days of June and the last 18 was dramatic.”