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UGA Expert on Worsening Drought Conditions in Georgia, Southeast

AP Photo/David Goldman

Temperatures have dropped noticeably in Georgia since last week, but the so-called flash drought has worsened significantly.

Much of the nation, from Texas to Maryland is under drought conditions. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that nearly 56 million people in parts of 16 states have been affected. Pam Knox is director of the Weather Network and an agricultural climatologist with UGA.

“The latest report came out this morning and it shows quite an expansion of drought across the state from last week,” Knox said. “Last week 61% of the state was in drought and now 97% is.”

Knox says the southern part of the state is suffering even more.

“Some of the areas in South Georgia are really seeing low stream flows and they tend to get their waiter from the streams. so as the stream flows go lower and lower, we night start to see some isolated problems with water supplies in the southern part of the state. I don’t think anybody is worried about it in here in North Georgia.”

Knox says there are some industries that actually benefit from drought conditions, at least in the short-term.

“When you think about it, a drought is a lot of days in a row with really good weather because it never rains”

She adds, that can mean a boon for recreational and other industries.

“You can go outside and enjoy all this beautiful weather, you can go golfing or whatever. I know a lot of places that have construction right now are ahead of schedule because they don’t have to stop.”

This past September was the driest on record for Georgia. Knox says many parts of the state haven’t received any appreciable rain since Labor Day.

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