Heavy December rainfall helps relieve drought
By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Above-normal rainfall this month is helping to relieve drought conditions in Morgan County and the rest of the Tennessee Valley but its long-term effect is something that should be viewed with cautious optimism, according to Ronald Britnell, county agent coordinator for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Farmers who have been around a long say in any summer you’re only seven days away from a drought.”
The National Weather Service recorded 8.34 inches of rain at Pryor Field during the first 18 days of December. Most of it fell Dec. 9-11. That’s nearly two inches more that the rainfall of the preceding three months combined. Totals in other areas of the Tennessee Valley ranged from four to nine inches, or two to six inches above normal.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, December rains brought tributary flows to normal or above and made the month the third wettest on record.
Still, year-to-year rainfall in the valley is below normal. Huntsville International airport lists the average annual rainfall at 57.51 inches, based on a 30-years time frame. So far this year the total is 44.85 inches.