By Clint Thompson
Thursday’s release of the U.S. Drought Monitor tells farmers something they already knew – it is wet across the Southeast region.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows sufficient moisture in Alabama, Georgia and most of Florida. Only a portion of Miami-Dade County in Florida shows abnormally dry conditions.
“They’re not even showing any abnormally dry conditions in Georgia today. Everything’s been wiped out by the current, wet conditions. The cutoff for the drought monitor was Tuesday, so that doesn’t even include the rain we got from Tropical Storm Elsa. Although that was pretty much confined near the coast,” said Pam Knox, University of Georgia Extension Agricultural Climatologist.
A wet summer has indeed only gotten wetter. According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia received 10.01 inches of rainfall from June 1 to July 7; compared to 5.98 inches last year. Donalsonville, Georgia received 9.08 inches of rain compared to 6.48 inches in 2020. Cairo, Georgia received 14.59 inches compared to 10.66 inches last year.
Drought conditions in Florida have slowly dissipated over the previous weeks. It was especially evident this week. In last week’s release, there were multiple parts of South Florida that were experiencing abnormally dry conditions, including Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Palm Beach County, Hendry County, Collier County, Glades County, Sarasota County, Manatee County and part of Polk County.
“I noticed that Florida reduced quite a bit. The rain from Elsa did hit Florida during the time period that the Drought Monitor covered. So that really wiped out most of what was remaining of their dry conditions,” Knox said.
Alabama has had sufficient moisture since the beginning of June. Not since the June 1 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor has any part of the state experienced abnormally dry conditions. That was relegated to the northwest part of the state.