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'Severe Drought' appears in parts of north Georgia

The drought monitor reflects recent rain trends, showing the Atlanta metro is in need of rainfall

ATLANTA — Although scattered storms have been around the North Georgia area over the last week, it hasn't been enough to give us widespread improvements on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. In fact, on the latest map released Thursday morning, parts of north Georgia are now in a Level D2 'Severe Drought' in Gilmer, Dawson, and Lumpkin counties. 

Around the Atlanta metro, we saw an expansion of the D1 'Moderate Drought' in the southern suburbs including Fayette, Coweta, Spalding and Pike counties. Scattered heavy downpours did provide some slight improvements in Fulton, Cobb, and the western part of Dekalb counties, taking them out of Moderate Drought level and back to just abnormally dry conditions.

In southeast Georgia, the need for rain is more desperate with areas near Savannah in severe drought conditions.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is evaluated weekly on Tuesdays, and released on Thursday mornings. Although there have been plenty of scattered storms across north Georgia over the last week, the rain has been hit-or-miss. We have not received any widespread, soaking rain this summer. 

Credit: WXIA

During a severe drought, crops become more stressed and the soil becomes more hard. Small streams dry up and rivers run very low.To mitigate the drought, water conservation becomes more common.

During a moderate drought, there are impacts to lawns and agriculture, and fire risk can be elevated. Crops become vulnerable as soil moisture turns low, gardens require more watering, and trees begin to show signs of stress.

Credit: WXIA

Some additional drought improvements are possible for next week's drought monitor, although not everyone will see them. The nature of our rain chances through the weekend will be for daily pop up scattered downpours and thunderstorms.

To-date, Atlanta does have a modest rain surplus for the year, but we have seen several drier stretches in May and June, putting us in this drought situation.

Through the 6th of the month, we've already picked up 2.44" of rain at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for July. 

Credit: WXIA

To see each day's local rain chances, visit our 11 Alive Weather Page.

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