Despite Historic Hurricane, South Still Left Out to Dry (Credit: NWS Corpus Christi, US Drought Monitor)
DISCUSSION: As the year draws to a close, it is important to look back at major weather events and see if and how the effects can linger into the new year. The hurricane season is one of the most important aspects of the meteorological calendar, and this year was no exception.
Hurricane Harvey first made landfall on August 25, 2017 in San Jose Island, Texas and then near the Fulton and Rockport, Texas area at around 10pm CDT (11pm EDT). Winds maxed at nearly 130 mph. In the four days Hurricane Harvey battered the Texas Coast, many areas saw over 30 inches of rain (see photo).
The drought monitor has certainly changed in the south compared to one year ago, although perhaps not in the way one would think. On December 13, 2016, 42.66% of the land was not experiencing any kind of drought conditions. Fast forward almost a year to December 12, 2017 and now only 23.96% of the land is not under drought conditions. Despite the torrential amount of rain that was received from Hurricane Harvey (excluding any other storms), there are generally more areas under drought conditions this year than last year, with severe conditions persisting particularly in northeast Texas, northwest Louisiana, southeast Oklahoma and nearly half of Arkansas. On the other hand, 100% of Tennessee was under drought conditions at this time last year, and currently only 31.86% are under drought conditions.
Take a look at the drought monitor, or choose to read more about Hurricane Harvey.
For more updates on droughts and other weather events, visit the Global Weather and Climate Center!
©2017 Meteorologist Nicholas Quaglieri