clear
Monday July 27th, 2015 9:30PM

Stooksbury: Next year's drought shaping up to be even worse

By The Associated Press
ATHENS - Georgia's state climatologist warned Friday that without more rain over the next three months, the state could face a drought next year even worse than this year's record conditions.

David Stooksbury said the severe drought gripping north Georgia and parts of the Southeast could expand through the rest of the state and lead to "catastrophic" conditions in the summer.

And although recent rains have helped recharge dwindling reservoirs, Stooksbury said forecasts show a dry winter ahead and little chance of the drought breaking.

"Currently," he said, "there is no relief in sight."

More than one-third of the Southeast - including Gainesville and surrounding areas - is covered by an "exceptional" drought, the worst drought category. The Atlanta area, with a population of 5 million, is smack in the middle of an affected region that also includes most of Tennessee, Alabama, North and South Carolina, as well as parts of Kentucky and Virginia.

"Drought conditions will persist across regions of Georgia currently in drought," Stooksbury said at a news conference in Athens. "Drought conditions will likely expand statewide by spring."

Stooksbury said half of the state is in extreme drought conditions now, with the worst conditions across the mountains and piedmont regions west of Interstate 75.

He said the extreme-to-exceptional drought regions will probably "muddle" through the winter and early spring. "But without a significant recharge of the soil moisture, groundwater, streams and reservoirs, conditions next summer could become catastrophic in these regions."

Stooksbury said Lake Lanier and other large water supply sources may bounce back some over the winter but "the big concern is they are not going to come up enough ."

(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)

On the Net:

http://www.georgiadrought.org
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge in courthouse shooting case refuses to step down
The judge presiding over the murder trial of a man accused in a deadly 2005 shooting spree that began in a courtroom refused Monday to step down from the case.
10:52PM ( 7 years ago )
Cornelia brings in 2008 with the 4th Annual Apple Drop
Cornelia knows how to have a good time on New Year
10:49PM ( 7 years ago )
Woman Who Tried to Kill Ford Freed
Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Ford in a bizarre assassination attempt just 17 days after a disciple of Charles Manson tried to kill Ford, was paroled Monday after 32 years behind bars.
5:55PM ( 7 years ago )
Local/State News
House, Senate clash over highway bill ahead of deadline
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans rebuffed their Senate counterparts Monday over must-pass highway legislation, setting the two chambers on a collision course days ahead of a crucial deadline in the...
9:04PM ( 26 minutes ago )
White County detainee walks away from work detail
Numerous law enforcement agencies are working to help locate a White County detainee who walked away from a work detail at the White County Courthouse Monday afternoon.
By Dean Dyer
8:56PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Authorities seize crystal meth worth nearly $33,000
Authorities made four arrests and seized 11.5 ounces of crystal methamphetamine in a four-agency drug trafficking investigation spanning two states.
7:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hall Co School Board approves construction at East Hall, looks at AP scores
The Hall County School Board approved a SPLOST IV request and talked Advanced Placement scores at their board meeting Monday night.
6:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
VIDEO: Man on the Street: Did last week's theater shooting change your opinion on going to the movies?
For this week's Man on the Street feature, WDUN's Russell Brown asked North Georgia residents if last week's Louisiana theater shooting would impact the way they go see movies.
4:33PM ( 4 hours ago )