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Webinar recap: ACF Drought and Water Update

The ACF Basin is drought-free according to the most current U.S. Drought Monitor (data as of 7/20/2021).  
Webinar recording can be found here.
Next month’s ACF Drought and Water Webinar is on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 1:00pm ET.
Register here for upcoming ACF monthly webinars. Sign up for ACF drought list here.
July Key Points
ACF Climate Conditions and Outlooks
Tropical Storms Danny (June 28-29) and Elsa (July 7) had minimal impact on the ACF, tropics quiet the remainder of July. Troughing and sagging frontal boundaries brought frequent, but not necessarily heavy rainfall to the Southeast in the last 6+ weeks. The Southeast U.S. is nearly entirely drought-free. Rainfall patterns typical for the last week, but above normal for the last 30-90 days. Typical scattered convection and rainfall forecast the next 7 days. Neutral conditions currently in the Pacific, La Nina advisory and 65% chance of La Nina returning this fall. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center seasonal forecast favors above normal temperatures, leans towards above normal rainfall. NOAA’s hurricane forecast calls for 60% chance of above normal year, less active than record-setting 2020. State of Alabama – The AL Drought Declaration was updated on 5/11/21 and does not include any drought designations. No current reported water availability issues. Alabama Drought Monitoring and Impact Group (MIG) will meet on 8/24/2021.

Real-Time Streamflow & Forecasts
Real-time streamflow in the ACF basin are currently in the much above high to much below normal. The below normal 7-day average streamflow indicates that the ACF basin is hydrologically drought free. 28-day average streamflow for the Chattahoochee River are currently in the above normal to normal range. 28-day average streamflow for the Flint River are currently in the normal range. Real-time groundwater levels at well i.d. 08G001 and 11K003 are currently ranked above normal. No flooding expected in the next 10 days Both the 1-month and 3-month Southeast River Forecast Center streamflow forecast shows near normal conditions, although tropical systems may have influence.

ACF Basin Reservoir Conditions
Inflows into the projects are slightly above normal due to the recent rain event. Currently, all projects but Walter F. George are operating slightly above guide curve. All projects are within Zone 1 and we are currently meeting all downstream minimum flow requirements.  The ACF system conservation storage is in Zone 1 and is forecasted to remain in Zone 1 for the next few weeks.

Apalachicola Bay Daily Average Salinity Levels
Cat Point salinity continued a similar pattern through July. Values have largely remained within the 25-75th percentile range. Dry bar salinity values increased then a large decrease was observed at the end of June, dropping to the lowest percentile range. Values have increased through July 9th.  East Bay Bottom salinity values spiked at the end of May then gradually decreased into June. Unable to provide update for June 9th–July 9th period. 
Current Drought Status
According to the most current U.S. Drought Monitor (data as of 6/15/2020).
0% of the ACF Basin is in drought 0% of Alabama in D0 0% of Georgia in D0 1.13% of Florida in D0 0% of Florida in D1
Lawn and Garden Moisture Index
July 26, 2021’s Lawn and Garden Index from the University of Alabama at Huntsville displays expansive areas of wetness across the vast majority of the Southeast.
Rainfall Totals & Departures
30-Day Precipitation Totals
The past 30 days saw above normal rainfall totals.
90-Day Precipitation Departures
90-day rainfall departures show above normal rainfall.
NOAA 3 Month Outlook (June-Aug)
The NOAA 3-month Seasonal Outlook (Aug-Sept-Oct) favors above normal temperatures, leans towards above normal rainfall.
Real-time Streamflow
Real-time streamflow in the ACF basin are currently in the much above high to to much below normal range. (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov)
Chattahoochee River near Whitesburg 28-Day Average Streamflows
28-day average streamflow for the Chattahoochee River are in the above normal to normal range, 28-day average streamflow for the Flint River are in the normal range, and the Apalachicola River flows are in the normal range.
(for more info: http://waterwatch.usgs.gov)
Real-Time Groundwater Conditions
The two reference groundwater wells (Dougherty and Miller Counties, GA) were ranked above normal. (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov)
ACF Reservoir Conditions
(as of 7/26/2021) 
Inflows into the projects are slightly above normal due to the recent rain event. Currently, all projects but Walter F. George are operating slightly above guide curve. All projects are within Zone 1 and we are currently meeting all downstream minimum flow requirements. The ACF system conservation storage is in Zone 1 and is forecasted to remain in Zone 1 for the next few weeks.
Apalachicola Bay Daily Average Salinity Levels
Cat Point (above) salinity levels remain within normal range.
1-Month & 3-Month Mean Daily Streamflow Forecasts
The 1-month mean daily streamflow forecast predicts near normal flow conditions.
The 3-month mean daily streamflow forecast predicts near normal flows.
Acknowledgments   
Speakers: David Zierden, FSU Tom Littlepage, ADECA OWR Paul Ankcorn, USGS Jody Huang, USACE-Mobile District Samantha Lucas, Apalachicola NERR Jeff Dobur, SERFC
Summary prepared by: Meredith Muth, NOAA/NIDIS

Resources
General Drought Information:  U.S. Drought Portal: http://www.drought.gov    U.S. Drought Monitor: http://www.drought.unl.edu  Alabama: http://adeca.alabama.gov/Divisions/owr
Drought Impact Reporter: www.droughtreporter.unl.edu/map/
Southeast Climate Perspectives Map https://sercc.com/perspectivesmap?region=sercc
General Climate and El Niño Information:  http://agroclimate.org/climate     Streamflow Monitoring & Forecasting http://waterwatch.usgs.gov   www.srh.noaa.gov/serfc/
Groundwater Monitoring http://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov    Apalachicola Bay NERR Salinity Stations http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu/dges/
Info on the ACF River Basin Drought Webinar: https://aaes.auburn.edu/wrc/extension-outreach2/acf-basin-drought-webinar/ 
Additional Information From the Southeast River Forecast Center: https://www.weather.gov/serfc 10-Day Guidance Forecasts: https://www.weather.gov/erh/mmefs Official River Stage and Flow Forecasts: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php

For webinar-related questions, please contact: 
Rachel McGuire  rem@auburn.edu