Thursday, December 20, 2007

Historic Drought

Meteorologist Brian Peters has provided some really good insight as to the historical implications of the drought in Alabama.

It will be real interesting to see how much rain falls between now and the end of of the year. Birmingham needs at least 1.14″ of rain between now and the 31st to avoid 2007 being the driest year on record.

Based on the number of rain chances we have between now and the end of the year, it appears likely that we will not break the 1895 record. James Spann, in his forecast this morning, pointed out that the NAM shows 1.49″ from today’s wave but that the GFS only shows .28″. James said that the truth will be somewhere in between, perhaps over 1/2". If Birmingham gets 1/2″ today, they will only need .64″ during the final 10 days of the year. Based on the radar returns over Mississippi at mid-morning, most areas have received less than 1/2″ but parts of northern Mississippi have already received over an inch.

Birmingham will need 6.14″ to avoid having 2007 be the second driest year on record. That will be much less likely. It is looking very likely to me at this point that 2007 will finish the second driest year of all time with only 1895 being drier.

I cannot help but question the accuracy of the records from the late 1800’s. I wonder why both 1895 and 1896 happen to be exactly 29.00 and 34.00, respectively. It also seems a little odd to me that the three driest years of all time occurred in a nine year period. I am not saying that is impossible, but it just makes me wonder how accurate records were at that time.


nathan said...

So Mike, how much rain did you have in Vinemont today? How much behind for the year is Cullman County?

10:30 12/20

Mike Wilhelm said...

Nathan, Yesterday we had .26" here in Vinemont. I do not know how far we are behind. I don't think records are kept here. Birmingham received .30". Birmingham now has received 27.67" this year which is 24.68" below average.

The most interesting thing about yesterday's weather was the non-thunderstorm wind damage across north and central Alabama, caused by gravity wave.