Habersham County, GA
Last Updated on Jul 24 2017, 1:55 pm EDT
Current Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Wind: West at 4mph
Heat Index: 92°F
The drought is officially over
As quickly as it began just one year ago, the persistent drought Northeast Georgia has been stuck has disappeared. In fact, a mere 1.03% of Georgia is all that remains in even abnormally dry conditions, and only 1.43% of the southeast as a whole is included. Heavy rain over the past several months has resulted in rainfall surpluses for every reporting station in North Georgia. This has been quickly shrinking our 12-month rainfall deficits.
Extended weather models continue to show us in a very wet pattern for at least the next two weeks, with above-average precipitation likely persisting even longer. This is thanks to a major pattern shift that replaced the upper level ridge with a trough, and has been persisting for several months.
Throughout the 65-week drought, Northeast Georgia saw thousands of acres burned in wildfires and many water restrictions. Cornelia reported above average precipitation only once during 2016 (+.14″ in August), and went 32 days from September to October with no rain. In fact, only .89″ of rain was recorded in those two months total, with conditions not improving significantly until well into November.
A sliver of D0 and D1 drought areas had persisted across Habersham and White Counties for the past month, and 12-month deficits are still above 1 foot for portions of Habersham, Rabun and White Counties, but these will no doubt continue to shrink by several inches per month. 3-month deficits remain quite positive, with Dahlonega a whopping 10.01″ above average since April.
Below are the current 12-month rainfall deficits. They now range anywhere from 13.5″ in Cornelia to 4.7″ in Gainesville. Compared to the 26″ deficit Cornelia was in at the beginning of the year you can see just how much improvement we have seen.
Also of note is that the 3 month rainfall totals are positive across the entire region, also a first since 2015. Here are the 3 month rainfall surpluses (as of 7/1/17) for the same stations:
And here are a few of the current lake level deficits (as of 7/6/17):