Drought

dead crops
John Bazemore / AP

A drought that has spread across the Southeast is the showing the first real improvement in weeks, but some Georgia farmers are still feeling the effects of the dry conditions. 


The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The latest drought monitor report notes pockets of “extreme drought” appearing across Georgia. As of Oct. 8, 2019, areas north and south of Atlanta, in central Georgia and near the South Carolina border, are currently experiencing dry conditions characterized by major damage to agriculture.

Dry conditions were also met with heat, with an October heatwave setting multiple new records across the state.

Greg Postel, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, joined On Second Thought to look at long term trends and what weather patterns are in store for fall and winter.


David Goldman / Associated Press

Farmers in Georgia have been impacted by a multitude of events in the last few years: hurricanes, stalled aid, trade policy and, on top of that, drought. 

In September, the Southeast saw record heat — with little to no rain. Now, there is lots of rain in the forecast for the coming week. On Second Thought checked in with onion farmer Aries Haygood of A&M Farms in Lyons, Georgia, to hear about the issues impacting farmers.


New data from the American Cancer Society show breast cancer as the number one form of cancer-related death for African American women in Georgia. Principal scientist from the American Caner Society, Carol Desantis, and director of cancer health equity at Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Brian Rivers, delve into the reality behind the numbers.


drought in Atlanta
DAVID GOLDMAN / AP

It's just a week into October, but it’s been already been a record-breaking month when it comes to high temperatures. 

Atlanta, Athens and Macon saw all-time highs last week.  


Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a little more than a week since the first day of fall, but the conditions have done anything but. The record heat coupled with lack of rain across the state has left many parts in severe drought and abnormally dry conditions.

That’s made it hard for farmers to get crops, like peanuts, out of the ground. Over the last week of September, parts of Georgia saw anywhere from zero to less than 2 inches of rain. 


Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

From the devastation of Hurricane Michael to trade tariffs, Georgia farmers have faced months of uncertainty. After stalled disaster and tariff aid packages, American farmers are still struggling while being shuffled around the political gameboard. 

 

Mark Peele is a cotton grower and president of the South Central Georgia Gin Company. He joined On Second Thought on the line from Berrien County to talk about the outlook — and mindset — of Georgia farmers. Jeffrey Harvey, director of the Georgia Farm Bureau's Public Policy Department, also joined the conversation from GPB's studio in Macon.

 

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

A wildfire in a small part of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is under control, but the fire points to already dry conditions in the state.


Deadly Storms Add To Drought, Flood And Fires Plaguing South

Dec 1, 2016
Butch Dill / AP Photo

Five people were killed in two states after at least 13 twisters damaged homes, splintered barns and toppled trees in parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, the National Weather Service confirmed.

At least a dozen more people were injured early Wednesday, adding to a seemingly biblical onslaught of drought, flood and fire plaguing the South.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Local officials rushed to get people out of towns as a wildfire raced into Tennessee's Sevier County on Monday evening.

At least three people were killed in the blaze, according to The Associated Press, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday morning that at least four people were taken to hospitals with burns.

Brown Water, Beaver Battle Among Early Signs Of Water Woes

Nov 28, 2016
David Goldman / AP Photo

Beaver dams have been demolished, burbling fountains silenced, and the drinking water in one southern town has taken on the light brownish color of sweet tea.

Though water shortages have yet to drastically change most people's lifestyles, southerners are beginning to realize that they'll need to save their drinking supplies with no end in sight to an eight-month drought.

Already, watering lawns and washing cars is restricted in some parts of the South, and more severe water limits loom if long-range forecasts of below-normal rain hold true through the rest of 2016.

TVA Bans Burning In 7 States Amid Drought, Fire

Nov 15, 2016
David Goldman / AP Photo

As drought dries up forests across the South and with no sign of coming rain that might help put out dozens of major wildfires, the Tennessee Valley Authority has issued a burn ban on its public lands in seven states.

The TVA on Tuesday said the ban applies to anything that might produce an open flame, from campfires to smoking cigarettes. It's even prohibited to park a car off-road where a hot tailpipe might light up dry grass or leaves.

The rules apply across Tennessee and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.

Large parts of the Southeast are grappling with severe drought.

In some parts of Alabama, there hasn't been any rain in nearly six weeks. Some farmers are selling off cattle because there's not enough hay to feed them over the winter.

drought conditions
WEATHER.GOV

Right now, Georgia is in the middle of a serious drought. Rising temperatures and lack of rainfall have affected a number of counties throughout the state.  The National Drought Monitor Center has found that more than 50 counties in Georgia are in “extreme” drought.

We speak with Jac Capp from the Environmental Protection Division and Weather Channel senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman about a dry end to summer and water conservation in the Peach State.