Georgia, which faced severe tornadoes and thunderstorms in April that killed more than a dozen people, is now facing an extreme drought situation even as cities like Atlanta are suffering from high levels of ozone.
The record-breaking 3 year drought from 2008 just ended last year during March, but drought conditions had returned again last summer, and could be worse this summer.
Since October 1 of last year, the southern half of Georgia received 70 percent or less of normal precipitation. Macon, which received more rain than usual last summer, is receiving the least amount (60 percent of normal rainfall) in the past 6 months.
Dr. David E. Stooksbury, professor at University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, stated in a recent report that the current soil condition of the south half of the state is so dry that 95 out of 100 years have soils with more moisture than the soil now.
In this dire situation of drought, farmers are watering their crops just to gain a little growth out of their plants. Many of them have not yet completed their spring planting because of the dry soil. Most streams in the southern part of the state are close to the record minimum flow for the summer and may worsen as the high temperatures continue to persist. Some have already hit record minimum.
Although the drought has great agricultural impact, the drought has not much effects on Atlantan lakes. Allatoona Lake to the north of Atlanta has unaffected water levels. The counties to the south of the line along and including LaGrange, Griffin, Eatonton, and Augusta are suffering from the severe drought, while some even souther counties are suffering from extreme drought.