Drought Monitor released Thursday
Many counties in north Georgia are no longer experiencing drought conditions. The new Drought Monitor released Thursday shows the drought is over for a big part of north Georgia. Recent rain has improved conditions over much of the state. Central Georgia and areas east of Atlanta are still experiencing "exceptional drought" conditions.
After Thursday's rain, Atlanta is now in a small "surplus" of rain for 2013. Keep in mind that surplus is only for January and February so far. We are now a little more than a tenth of an inch above the average rainfall so far for the year. That isn't too significant. Rain at the end of 2012 helped to improve our drought conditions over north Georgia.
Here is a list of the counties no longer in the drought: Floyd, Chattooga, Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin, Dawson, Hall, Lumpkin, Towns, Union, Rabun, White, Habersham, Banks, Stephens and Franklin. Even though drought conditions still exist for other metro Atlanta counties, they are showing improvement.
You can see from the map that central Fulton County is in "severe" drought. South Fulton is still in the "extreme" drought classification. Much of the north metro counties are in "moderate" drought. Gwinnett county is considered "abnormally dry," that's the lowest drought classification.
The rain has also helped Lake Lanier. The lake level on Thursday was 1064.07 feet. That is now 6.93 feet below full pool. Full pool is 1071 feet. Thursday's level is up 7.74 feet from it's recent low point of 1056.33 on December 19th.
More rain moving in next week will help put more water in the Lake. It will also help other counties to improve their drought status.