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Recent rainfall helps alleviate drought conditions

HUGULEY — According to the Chambers County Emergency Management Agency, recent rain has helped with drought conditions but the county remains on the borderline between dry and being in a moderate drought.

“Valley is a little higher on the Palmer Severity Index,” Deputy Director Kathy Hornsby told The Times-News. “It’s in a moderate drought. Lanett is a little lower on the scale but is in an overall dry weather condition.”

In other words, the area could really use the rain that’s in the forecast over the next several days.

The Palmer Severity Index is a widely accepted measurement of drought conditions and is used by such organizations as the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. It was developed in 1965 by meteorologist Wayne Palmer of the U.S. Weather Bureau’s Office of Climatology.

To see the current PSI drought meter for the local area, go to https://www.drought.gov/drought/.

“After going to the page,” said Hornsby. “Scroll down midways to ‘How Drought is Affecting Your Neighborhood’ and enter your zip code. Today’s reading has Lanett in the dry zone and Valley in the moderate drought zone.”

The drought meter goes from a turnip green color for “wet,” yellow for dry conditions, peach for moderate drought, orange for severe drought, red for extreme drought and burgundy for exceptional drought.

At the present time, LaFayette, Lanett and West Point are in the yellow zone while Valley and areas south are in the peach-colored zone.

According to the National Weather Service’s Birmingham office, the central Alabama region including Chambers, Randolph, Clay, Tallapoosa, Coosa, Elmore, Montgomery and Dallas counties, are faring better than the rest of the state. They are in the dry zone, not quite in a drought. Most of Alabama is experiencing a moderate drought.

The Wiregrass region of southeast Alabama extending to Baldwin County and the north-central region of the state extending from Tuscaloosa County through Jefferson County toward the northeast corner of Alabama are experiencing extreme drought conditions.