Archived Story

Drought conditions improve

Published 7:17pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

Half of county upgraded to severe, but La Niña may mean dry winter for area

The extreme drought that has strangled the county for weeks is beginning to loosen its grip.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows conditions in the northern portion of Tallapoosa County improving from extreme drought to severe drought.

Recent rainfall gets the credit for helping to ease the drought, especially Oct. 28 when 1.71 inches of rain fell in the Alexander City area and added to the 2.7-inch total for the month of October.

“We’re starting to see mid-latitude systems dig down and bring return moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico,” said hydrologist Roger McNeil with the weather service.

A strong low-pressure system was added to the mix this week to add .68 inches of rain to start November.

McNeil said he was cautiously optimistic the area could continue to see an easing of drought conditions despite being in a La Niña pattern, which tends to bring drier, milder winters to the area.

The weather service has issued a freeze watch for Friday night into Saturday morning for Tallapoosa County. A freeze watch means there is a potential for temperatures to be at or below freezing during the overnight hours Friday into Saturday, according to meteorologist Scott Unger.

Unger said folks living in the area should be concerned about plants and pets, but it may still be too warm to be worried about pipes freezing.

“We typically don’t worry about pipes until temperatures drop into the low 20s or teens,” Unger said. “The biggest concern will be pets and plants.”

Unger doesn’t expect this pattern of cold weather to extend into next week though. He said temperatures should be back in the 70s by Monday.