ATHENS, Ga. -- Central Georgia is now in extreme drought conditions, according to the Palmer Drought Severity Index. The rest of the state remains in severe drought except the west central region, which is in moderate drought, and the northwest corner, which is in mild drought.
For the PDSI, the Central Georgia Region includes Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Butts, Crawford, Dodge, Greene, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Laurens, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Rockdale, Taliaferro, Twiggs, Treutlen, Washington, Wheeler and Wilkinson counties.
Soil moisture continued to get drier last week. The Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reported soil moisture as short to very short in 78 percent of the state. Only 21 percent of the soils had enough moisture. Crop and pasture conditions continued to decline.
The Crop Moisture Index also shows drying topsoil across most of the state. Central, southwest and south central Georgia are excessively dry, reducing prospective yields.
The east central and southeast regions of the state are abnormally dry, and yield prospects are deteriorating. North central and northeast Georgia report short topsoil moisture.
Northwest and west central Georgia have adequate topsoil moisture now. However, dry areas remain in these regions. The PDSI and the CMI are calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center.
Little relief is in store for Georgia this week. Most of the state needs 9 to 12 inches of rain to end the drought. Northwest Georgia needs about 4 inches.
Georgia is now in the typical summertime weather pattern. The state depends on scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms for most of its rain. It is rare that a drought will be broken by scattered thunderstorms. It may take a tropical storm to break the current drought.
Current weather information on 38 Georgia locations is at the
University of Georgia Automated
Environmental Monitoring Network
Web site. Find current drought information at the UGA Drought
'99 Web site. Or talk to
your county Extension Service agent about the drought's effects
on crops, landscaping,
gardens or livestock.
(David Emory Stooksbury is associate professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)