Drought conditions persist, but weekend rain may help

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 25, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The cold weather, along with some wintery precipitation, has been dominating the local weather story since the start of the new year. Despite that, drier weather overall has also taken hold across the Deep South. But there is a chance we could see some relief this weekend.

The Drought Monitor has most of our viewing area under “severe” drought conditions, according to the figures released Thursday. Places like Tallahassee, Thomasville, Monticello, and Apalachicola are in the severe stage. Eastern locations such as Jasper, Perry, and Madison are in “moderate” intensity. There wasn’t much change in our viewing area since the previous week.

The concern is that prolonged drought could begin to impact agriculture and the water table. But there is some possible good news on the horizon.

A trough is expected to dip into the Southeast early on Sunday. That will help support the formation of a surface low which will help boost not only rain chances, but also the amount of rain. There are some differences in the models (e.g. the low’s placement, and the location of heaviest rainfall), but the consensus is that rainfall totals starting late Saturday into Sunday could be between 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts. That could be enough to erase the year-to-date rainfall deficit in a few locations, but there could still be a small deficit when rainfall since December (meteorological winter) is considered.

More good news could come once we get into February. The Climate Prediction Center is placing higher odds for above-average rainfall to start the first few days of the month.

Ensemble means from both the American GFS and the European models are hinting at a trough digging into the Midwest. This could set the stage for more rain in the Deep South.



 
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