Friday, October 26, 2007

Just What The Drought Doctor Ordered!

Ah, three-four days of fairly steady rain, showers and drizzle. More than three inches of rain so far, spread out so that it will soak into the ground, while also replenishing streams, rivers, ponds and reservoirs.

This is just what the drought doctor ordered. It won't end our drought--we've been more than 10 inches below our average rainfall to date, and parts of Virginia to the west, and North Carolina to the south, have had it far worse. (Raleigh reportedly was down to just a couple months' water supply--a sure sign that the city needs to do some serious water-planning.) But, the amounts so far, with a bit more to come, will be a big help.
[If we get four inches, which is possible, that amounts to nearly 40 days worth of average rainfall here, so it at least wipes out most of the recent record dry spell we had.]

Next week's drought monitor (shown above, as of the beginning of this week, before the rain) will look a good deal different in Virginia and the Carolinas, with a lot less red.

Unfortunately, this storm hasn't done much to help the folks in north Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, where the drought has been more severe for a longer period of time. Today's WSJ had an interesting article on the conflict over water in Georgia's Lake Lanier, between Atlanta, which gets all its water from the 50-year old reservoir, and Florida (and to an extent, Alabama), which depends on river flow from the lake to sustain wildlife-based industries around Apalachicola Bay.

We hope they'll get a similar storm before too long, or maybe a late season, wayward tropical storm, which is typically the way southeastern droughts end.

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