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MEDIA NEWSWIRE

Days Without Rain Near Local Records
Athens, Ga. – The number of consecutive days with little or no rainfall is reaching record levels in Georgia. Preliminary analysis by the Office of the State Climatologists indicates that Columbus has broken its record of days with 0.01 inches or less of rain.

Athens could break its record on Friday, and Atlanta could break its within a week. All analyses were done for 1948 through 2001.

Wildfire potential is the most immediate concern. Dry soils, dry leaves and other plant material, low humidity and wind all add up to an increase in wildfire potential across the entire state.

Stream Flows Still Dropping

Stream flows continue to drop statewide. In north Georgia, record daily low flows are reported on the upper Chattahoochee, Chattooga, Chestatee, Broad, upper Flint and upper Oconee Rivers.

In south Georgia, record daily low flows are reported on the Altamaha, lower Flint, Ohoopee, lower Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers.

The Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service rates soil moisture as short to very short in 96 percent of the state's soils. Winter wheat is particularly hard-hit, with 54 percent of the state's crop rated poor to very poor.

On the positive side, dry weather has allowed for good progress in harvesting summer crops.

City Water Tables

Preliminary analysis of consecutive days of rain less than or equal to the amount indicated for 1948 through 2001. The "amount" column is the rainfall in inches equal to or less than the value reported. The "current" column is the number of consecutive days (ending at noon Nov. 20, 2001) receiving the indicated amount or less. The "record" column is the record number of consecutive days receiving the indicated amount or less. And the "date" column gives the period when the record was set.

ATHENS
Up to:

0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current

36 days
36
36
57

Record

39 days
39
40
180

Dates

10/4/61-11/11/61
10/4/61-11/11/61
10/4/61-11/12/61
4/12/88-7/20/88
ATLANTA
Up to:

0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current
26 days
26
26
37

Record
32 days
42
49
104

Dates
9/30/63-10/31/63
9/16/54-10/27/54
9/15/61-11/2/61
7/29/55-11/9/55
AUGUSTA
Up to:

0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current
17 days
17
36
57

Record
35 days
35
73
120

Dates

10/1/53-11/4/53
10/1/53-11/4/53
10/1/98-12/12/98
9/4/98-1/1/99
COLUMBUS
Up to:

0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current
0 days
0
37
37

Record

36 days
37
69
108

Dates

10/15/2001-11/19/2001
10/15/2001-11/19/2001
9/15/61-11/22/61
8/11/78-11/26/78
MACON
Up to:
0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current
0 days
0
56
56

Record
44 days
44
69
100

Dates
10/14/78-11/26/78
10/14/78-11/26/78
9/15/61-11/22/61
8/2/84-11/9/84
SAVANNAH
Up to:

0.00 inches
0.01
0.10
0.50

Current
5 days
5
17
57

Record

41 days
41
64
150

Dates

9/25/2000-11/4/2000
9/25/2000-11/4/2000
10/9/98-12/11/98
11/8/88-4/3/89

(David Emory Stooksbury is associate professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

(Pam Knox serves as University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist with UGA Department of Crop and Soil Science.)

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