Southwest Georgia Sees Some Drought Relief From Rains
By: Jim Wallace, WALB-TV
10/5/2012 10:40:48 AM
Recent rain has helped the drought in south Georgia.
Streams are showing dramatic improvement over record summer lows.
The state climatologist says we should expect more wet weather.
After 3 years of exceptional drought, any good news in stream and creek levels is terrific. And water experts say they are seeing some remarkable improvement this fall.
The Ichawaynochaway Creek's water flow was down to a low of 89 inches per minute. Today it's shown a remarkable turnaround.
Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center Executive Director Dough Wilson said "They got a pile of rain somewhere, because that's 277 today."
State Climatologist Bill Murphey says the portion of Georgia suffering some level of drought has shrunk from 86 percent to 63 percent in the last 3 months.
Wilson said "Southwest Georgia is out of extreme drought. I think most of our part of the state, maybe in moderate drought or just abnormally dry now. So we are in better shape than we have been in quite a while."
And the state climatologist predicts a more rainy pattern in November and December, and that could go a big way recharging the Floridan Aquifer.
Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center Hydrologist Woody Hicks said "We're in a weather circulation system now that's going to bring us some more frequent rain. And these little fronts like we've getting through here right now are kind a non-typical for the fall for this region. So we appreciate the rain and are looking for some more."
Now that farmers have finished irrigation and temperatures are lower, water experts say they expect these stream flows to continue to improve, as well as the soil moisture, if the rains return to more normal levels.
Wilson said "It's gonna take a lot of water to get these quote back to normal. But we do have the ability to recoup here more so than, gosh, many, many, many places."
A nice change, to have some good news on the drought. And to be able to see the proof flowing through.
Water experts say the drought is not over yet, but they hope with a wetter winter pattern Southwest Georgia will see improvement, and that is something we have not seen in three years.
Middle Georgia and north central Georgia continue to be the areas hardest hit by the drought.
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