Drought Hanging On Despite Recent Rains

Despite recent rainfall, Georgia continues to be in a moderate drought status according to the U.S. Geological  Survey.

The latest drought monitor report shows just how stubbornly persistent the current drought is nationwide and what that could mean for farmers.

“We’re pretty much steady on the drought situation,” noted Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist. “We continue to see more than half of the country, 52.9% covered in drought.”

But there is some hope with a storm expected across much of the country this week.

So what does that mean for the lake levels on the Upper Savannah River Basin?

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, March is normally the wettest month of the year in the Savannah River Basin, but this year we experienced below-average rainfall in both the Hartwell and Thurmond sub-basins for the month.

The Hartwell sub-basin recorded 78 percent of normal rainfall in March.

It received 4.66 inches, falling short of the March average of 5.97 inches.

The Thurmond sub-basin came much closer to achieving average rainfall, reaching 93.8 percent of normal.

It received 4.47 inches compared to the March average of 4.77.

Still, recent rainfalls have improved the Corps predictions for where the lakes will be when summer officially begins.

By the end of May, the Corps is expecting to enter Memorial Day with both reservoirs about 4 feet below full pool—nearly double the amount of recovery than originally predicted.