NOAA Issues Flash Drought Notice for Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR

The National Weather Service in conjunction with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association has issued a Flash Drought notice for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

According to NOAA, a flash drought is defned as an event with greater than or equal to two categories of degradation in a four-week period based on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Record-breaking late summer and early fall heat and persistent short-term dryness have led to a sharp increase in drought intensity and coverage across our region.

Forecasters say this unusually hot weather we’ve been experiencing over the past weeks will move out overnight, bringing with it much cooler, more seasonal temperatures.

However, Steve Wilkinson with the National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg says that will not bring us out of the drought.

“It all boils down to rain and how widespread the rain is and how much it is,” Wilkinson explained. “So, we would need to get several rain events. As you get further into fall and winter you’re going to get more widespread rainfall instead of this scattered rain activity. So, you need the widespread rain and you need to have it over several weeks to get things back to normal.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Stephens County is in a severe drought, while Franklin County remains in an abnormally dry to moderate drought and Hart County is listed as Abnormally Dry.

Next week, representatives from NOAA, the University of Georgia, and the National Weather Service will sponsor a Webinar to provide a comprehensive overview of current drought conditions in the Southeast and the outlook for the rest of the year.

Impacts on agriculture sector will also be highlighted.

The webinar will also discuss a recent study by researchers from the Climate Prediction Center to increase their understanding of the characteristics of flash drought events with the goal of further predicting the onset of such events.

To get more information about the Webinar, you can go to: [email protected]