Southeast Drought Summary
South-central and southeastern Virginia were downgraded to abnormal dryness after another week of little to no rainfall. SPIs out through 120-days, 30-day and 60-day DNPs, below-normal CPC Soil Moisture from July 31-October 9, and (in the general vicinity of Richmond, VA) low stream flows all pointed toward the need for deterioration. Abnormal dryness was also extended into northeastern North Carolina, which had similarly dry conditions. Moderate drought (D1) was introduced to south-central Virginia and the adjacent North Carolina Piedmont, based on significant AHPS DNPs out through 90-days. In North Carolina, other justifications for the downgrade included lower and declining stream flows and reservoirs, and persisting dryness across the Piedmont at timescales of 1-12 months. SPIs show some hint of dryness in the south-central Virginia/central North Carolina area extending back 180-days. Objective short-term drought blends even put this area in “D2”. This week’s drought map emphasizes the longer-term nature of the drought over central Virginia and central North Carolina, with lower emphasis on the “front-loaded” (shorter-term, 30-days) drought near the coast. This week’s rainfall largely missed out on the Piedmont region of South Carolina, warranting the widespread introduction of D0. Rain associated with Hurricane Nate (about 6 inches) over southwestern Alabama justified the elimination of the D0 area over portions of Mobile and Washington counties. Coverage of D0 was reduced in west-central Alabama, confining it to the northwest portion of Tuscaloosa County. In nearby Pickens, northern Greene, and northern Sumter Counties, which was on the outskirts of the heavier rainfall, D0 was extended to merge with the D0 in eastern Mississippi.
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