(KALB) - Historical Aspect:
As of the November 2, 2017 drought update, Central Louisiana is under an abnormally dry drought situation, especially Eastern Cenla. Meanwhile there is a moderate drought situation in Catahoula and Concordia parishes.
Going back one year ago at this time, in 2016, Louisiana was in worse shape as far as the drought was concerned. Parts of Louisiana were under a severe and extreme drought situation which is worse versus an abnormally dry or moderate drought situation that we are currently seeing.
Going back two years ago at this time, in 2015, Louisiana was even in a worse situation versus right now and in 2016. Parts of Louisiana were dealing with up to an exceptional drought which is the worst kind of drought you can deal with.
Finally, going back three years ago, in 2014, Louisiana was in about the same drought situation as we are in right now except for dealing with up to a severe drought.
All of these statistics can be found on the United States Drought Monitor website.
What you see on the Drought Monitor Map:
The drought monitor summary map, which identifies the general areas of drought and labels them by intensity, gets updated every week and is available for viewing on Thursdays. D1 or Moderate Drought is the least intense level of drought, while the D4 or Exceptional Drought is the most intense level of drought conditions. A drought is defined as a deficiency in moisture which can be bad enough to have social, environmental or economic effects. D0 or Abnormally Dry means these areas are not in a drought but at the same time are experiencing overall abnormally dry conditions that could turn into a drought or are recovering from drought but are not yet back to normal.
There are five levels of the Drought Severity Classification chart that the US Drought Monitor uses to classify where the drought stands in each state each week:
Abnormally Dry (D0) – Least severe. This level means going into drought; storm term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures. This level also means coming out of drought; some lingering water deficits and pastures or crops not fully recovered.
Moderate Drought (D1) – 2nd overall level out of 5. This level means some damage to crops and to the pastures. Also this means streams, reservoirs, or the wells are low, some water shortages are developing or are becoming imminent. Finally, there is voluntary water-use restrictions being requested.
Severe Drought (D2) – 3rd overall level out of 5. This level means crop or pasture losses are likely, along with water shortages being common and finally water restrictions are being imposed.
Extreme Drought (D3) – 2nd worse level out of 5. This level results in major crop and pasture losses along with widespread water shortages or restrictions are occurring.
Exceptional Drought (D4) – Worse level out of 5. This level is the worst and it results in exceptional and widespread crop or pasture losses. Also, there are shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells which leads to water emergencies.
Additional information when it comes to the drought monitor:
There’s a drought map, and behind the map, there are things that you should know. The drought intensity categories are based on five key indicators, which are the overall categories of abnormally dry to exceptional drought which have been explained by category above.
Also, besides the indicators, there are drought impacts and finally local reports from more than 350 expert observers around the country.
Finally, there are indicators of whether the primary physical effects are for a short or long-term drought situation. S or Short Term, means that it typically will last for less than 6 months and L or Long Term, means that the drought will last for more than 6 months. Currently, Louisiana is dealing with a Short Term drought situation. The forecasted rain for during the day Wednesday and Thursday morning for Central Louisiana and for Louisiana is certainly welcoming to the abnormally dry to moderate drought situation. Every little bit counts, of course too much of a good thing can lead to more issues. (Flash Flooding or Flooding)
Source: United States Drought Monitor Website