Drought monitor

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 - 6:14pm

The USDA drought monitor site is important for gardeners. I scooted my browser over there when I saw migrating spring birds back in the Carolinas early, on Jan 6th. Did they know something we did not?

And there you have it. If this keeps up, winter wheat in the midwest will not do well; we grow white winter wheat in SC and it may not be a banner crop here, either. The Mississppi River may well again run low, interfering with deep draft barge traffic. Southern states east of the Appalachian Mountains are in drought - especially Georgia. Most of Texas is hurting.

Drought resiant seeds and breeds, mulching, drip irrigation, and wicking beds are looking like better and better options for gardeners. And rain barrels are sounding pretty good. It was 80 degrees at the Columbia SC airport today. In January. This does not bode well for the summer heat.

8 Comments

Petey1's picture
Petey1
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 13 2012
Posts: 35
Thanks for posting

This could become our biggest problem.

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2008
Posts: 427
Call Bernanke

He can already make it rain money. If he can just make it rain H2O, then we've got something.

SS

Doug's picture
Doug
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2736
yellow area

We never got drier than the 'abnormally dry' status last summer, but much of our garden and many of our young fruit and nut trees would probably not have survived without a great deal of work on our part schlepping water from the pond.  We are already deep mulching and looking at alternative watering methods as parts of our preps.

If anyone knows of a good pump we can use to transport water from the pond approximately 100' upland, I'd like to hear about it.

Doug

Nate's picture
Nate
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Posts: 460
question

Our local newspaper reports both historical (~125 years) and year-to date rainfall values.  Currently we are at 125% of historical rainfall levels (July 1 to June 30).  According to the map Wendy posted, we are in a moderate drought condition.  Is the USDA defining drought as a multi-year rolling average or a year-to-date figure?

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
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Posts: 264
Mt. Waialeale

On the island touted by the tourism boards as having the wettest spot on Earth, we had an extremely dry '12.  Funny, when the grass don't grow people don't buy or repair lawnmowers or weedwackers.  We had our slowest business month in over 6 years this last November, by a factor of .5.  Unfortunately, water pump sales didn't make up for it.  I was starting to get worried 'til the rain came down in December.  Of course, to our good fortune, we were still able to get those Peruvian pears at Costco for only $6 per bag!  Whew!  Aloha, Steve.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1463
multi-year rolling average or a year-to-date?

Nate, more of their methodology can be found here,  below the original map, where there are links to short and long-term indicator maps, 6 and 12-week animations, and regional and state climate links.

But, in general, look at the letters S and L on the map. S stands for Short term and L stands for Long Term.
Drought or Dryness Types
S ... Short-Term, typically <6 months (e.g. agricultural, grasslands)
L ... Long-Term, typically >6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)

lots of good info on 2012 climate for the USA at this link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/13

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
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Posts: 344
My plan

Since its gonna be hot, I'm gonna get a plastic kiddy pool and sit in it to stay cool...."Mr. Turtle Pool" looks best and its got a slide......

Humor aside, what can you?  I guess the first thing I'll do is water as much stuff as I can at night more rather than early a.m. - plus, that way I can top off my pool and it'll be warmer but still cool later.  Okay, I'll also use mulch and get my rain barrels set up....but I'm keeping the pool!

Nate's picture
Nate
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Posts: 460
thanks

Wendy S. Delmater wrote:

Nate, more of their methodology can be found here,  below the original map, where there are links to short and long-term indicator maps, 6 and 12-week animations, and regional and state climate links.

Thanks, Wendy

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