Protracted extreme drought: U.S. Drought Monitor, 2012-05-08

Acording to U.S. Drought Monitor, drought throughout south Georgia and surrounding areas is either extreme or exceptional, and has been for months.

Here you can see detail for Georgia:

They also have a twelve week animation which shows that conditions got a little better in March with the rains, and then got back to as dry as they were before. They also have a 52 week animation, in which you can see that south Georgia has been out of Extreme drought only a few weeks at a time, and then only into Severe drought. Much of south Georgia has been in Exceptional drought much of the past year.

According to droughtmonitor’s legend, the worst kind of drought (Exceptional) has become increasingly common in recent months.

What does Exceptional mean? For example, when east Texas was having an Exceptional drought last fall, 25,000 acres burned along with almost 500 homes.

South Georgia has mostly been in Extreme or Severe drought for the past year. Those terms appear to be drawn from the Palmer Drought Index, which is about how different local moisture is from typical local conditions. OK, but what effects do such levels of drought have? According to, in Georgia drought effects at the moment include “Relief, Response & Restrictions” and “Water Supply & Quality”. Water supply is related to groundwater levels being at historically low levels during the past year. That affects everything from agriculture to industry, not to mention increasing the likelihood of municipal water restrictions. Also silviculture: trees don’t grow as well without water as they do with it.