UA climatologist fears drought could last for months

Published: Oct. 20, 2016 at 8:23 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2016 at 8:57 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama climatologist Jason Senkbeil gave a blunt description of Alabama's current weather conditions: "We're absolutely in a drought."

The associate professor of geography at the University also believes this is worst drought Alabama has faced since 2007.

"We're in a severe drought. They're in extreme drought up in Northeastern corner of Alabama. And that drought is also forecast to develop as the winter goes on towards the Gulf Coast," he went on to say.

The drought has now moved into areas including Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

He pulled up a map on his computer that shows how little rain Alabama has received recently compared to other nearby states.

A hurricane would be drought buster if it moved inland and dumped a lot of rain over our area. But Senkbeil says historically, that's unlikely to happen this late into October.

The six or seven weeks that have passed since we had meaningful rainfall is already taking its toll on one of our most precious resources.

"I think if municipalities begin to increase the price or water and you have penalties, it gets everyone's attention. And that's probably what's going to happen if this continues for the next two to three months," Senkbeil stressed.

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