As I posted about last week, the majority of Kentucky is now in a Moderate to Severe drought. This has continued to worsen, with much of the southeastern portion of the state now in a Severe Drought.
Well, we are not alone. Much of our neighbors to our south and east are seeing much, much worse drought conditions. Nearly 21% of the Southeastern region in the US Drought Monitor’s sectors is seeing an Extreme Drought, with exceptional drought conditions being the highest on the scale.
Here are some statistics on just how bad this drought has become across the southeast:
- Nashville, TN: 6.13″ below normal rainfall
- Chattanooga, TN: 18.93″ below normal rainfall
- Asheville, NC: 9.85″ below normal rainfall
- Atlanta, GA: 10.36″ below normal rainfall
- Huntsville, AL: 11.31″ below normal rainfall
- Birmingham, AL: 10.11″ below normal rainfall
- Tuscaloosa, AL: -12.31″ below normal rainfall
That is ridiculous. Many of these areas have seen no rain so far this month, and saw very little rainfall last month, much like us. This drought is only getting worse as we move forward in time, as a pattern change doesn’t look to be occurring within the next couple weeks. They need the rain.
This is causing much greater issues than just dry conditions. In many areas of the southeastern US, wildfires have become a major issues. Wildfires have been occurring across the southeast the past couple weeks, with a few of them becoming major fires along the way.
One of the hardest hit regions is right in our own state, in eastern Kentucky. Gov. Matt Bevin even declared a State of Emergency regarding the fires themselves. A fire in eastern Kentucky has burned upwards of 10,475 acres by itself, and it is only 27% contained. The southeast is struggling to fight these fires, and has had to call in crews from around the country to fight these fires. However, with little rainfall in the forecast across much of these areas, it may be tough to contain these fires.
What is amazing is that this smoke actually spread across much of the Ohio Valley late last week. With fairly stagnant conditions across the region last week, some of the more incredible picture of the fires and the smoke surface from satellite images on Twitter. Check those out, and be sure to keep the folks that live in these areas in your prayers, and hope that the fires don’t affect many homes.
More than 5,000 firefighters from across the U.S. converge on southern Appalachian Mountains to battle wildfires. https://t.co/iMsx2ozDbL pic.twitter.com/gGLJE7YolX
— ABC News (@ABC) November 11, 2016
Smoke over Duluth is from wildfires burning in Gilmer County. Over 6,400 acres of wilderness area have burned so far, only 10% contained. pic.twitter.com/AlcrBCBLtE
— Duluth Police Dept (@DuluthGAPolice) November 9, 2016
Hi-res MODIS #satellite image of smoke from southeast U.S. #wildfires pic.twitter.com/oUityiqQFg
— Stu Ostro (@StuOstro) November 7, 2016
Satellite loop of the past two days. Look at the smoke plume in the NC mountains from the wildfires. pic.twitter.com/X8418Llxtq
— WNCT Candice Boling (@WxCandiceBoling) November 11, 2016