DISCUSSION: While parts of the United States get battered by rain as spring ensues, the Southeast is left out to dry. This includes the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The majority of the Southeast has a humid, subtropical climate and is known for its relatively uniform and low-lying flood-prone land. However, now three-quarters of the land are in the midst of a drought.
The change in the drought monitor for the Southeast United States has been astounding. On April 5, 2016, only 16.53% of the Southeast were experiencing any kind of drought conditions. This only included the D0 level, which is abnormally dry, and there were no other levels of more severe drought conditions. In comparison, as of April 4, 2017, 41.07% of the Southeast were experiencing D0 drought conditions. In addition, 26.56% were experiencing D1 drought conditions, 7.96% experiencing D2 drought conditions, and 1.08% experiencing D3 drought conditions. This means a total of 76.67% of the Southeast were experiencing some type of drought condition.
The land has become so unusually dry that water from large rain events can’t properly be absorbed into the ground, causing flooding. In October of 2016, Hurricane Matthew provided some relief on the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, but it did not reach inland enough to lessen the more serious drought effects. There is hope as hurricane season approaches that some tropical systems can provide some help to the drought-ridden Southeast United States.
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©2017 Meteorologist Nicholas Quaglieri