Followed by an abnormally dry January and February, much of Georgia has re-enetered a drought.
And weather experts say it could get worse.
By the end of last year, the state, except for the northeast quarter, wasn’t in drought. That has changed, says David Emory Stooksbury, state climatologist and University of Georgia professor of engineering and atmospheric sciences in Athens.
Northeast Georgia remains in severe to extreme drought conditions. Northwest Georgia is classified as being abnormally dry. The southwest and extreme southeast parts of the state are in mild drought.
The cool season—October through April—is critical for the state.
That’s when it typically receives moisture recharge to the soils, groundwater, rivers and reservoirs.
Without significant rain in the next two months, Georgia is primed for another year of drought, Stooksbury said in a news release.
Over the past 30 days, almost the entire state has received less than half of normal rain. Much of the northern coastal plain has received less than a quarter of normal rain.
The major reservoirs of Lanier, Hartwell, Russell and Clarks Hill remain near record lows with diminishing hope for recharge unless there is a major weather pattern shift over the next few months.
Groundwater levels are generally near normal across southwest and northwest Georgia.
The levels are abnormally low across much of the northern coastal plain and the piedmont. Groundwater levels can and do vary over very short distances especially when measurements are taken from different aquifers.