What is in this article?:
- Tropical storm remnants bring some relief to lower Southeast
- South Carolina still dry
• The region-wide downpour dumped as much as 8 inches of rain in parts of Alabama during and following the Labor Day weekend, salvaging some crops from one of the hottest months of August on record.
• But some parts of the state, including the Wiregrass region in southeast Alabama, didn’t see enough rain from the storm to relieve drought conditions. Parts of Georgia also were not as fortunate.
Whether or not it turns out to be a “million dollar rain” remains to be seen, but the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee that swept through some parts of the lower Southeast during the first part of September spelled sweet relief for many growers.
The region-wide downpour dumped as much as 8 inches of rain in parts of Alabama during and following the Labor Day weekend, salvaging some crops from one of the hottest months of August on record.
But some parts of the state, including the Wiregrass region in southeast Alabama, didn’t see enough rain from the storm to relieve drought conditions. Parts of Georgia also were not as fortunate.
Officials with the National Weather Service reported that only 1 inch or less of rain was recorded in Houston and Henry counties in the southeast corner of Alabama.
The storm took a crooked path through the state, almost skipping some areas altogether while dumping several inches of rain in others.
But for most of Alabama, Lee helped to end a hot, dry summer on a wet note, causing flash flooding and closing roads in some places, especially in the north-central part of the state.
Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan said rain soaked much of the state, but it didn't appear to be enough to pull some of the Wiregrass area out of the drought.
“Houston and Henry counties were terribly dry,” McMillan said.
While the moisture was needed, McMillan said the heavy rains could complicate the job facing farmers during the upcoming harvest.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Tropical Storm Lee brought beneficial rains to the Gulf Coast and Southeast before hooking up with a cold front from the west that brought heavy rainfall up and down the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to southern Pennsylvania.
Soaking rains on the order of 4 to 8 inches or more fell across a good portion of the Southeast region bringing improvement to drought-stricken areas in eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, southern, western and northern Virginia, West Virginia’s southern, eastern and Panhandle regions, western Maryland, Pennsylvania and western/upper New York.
The rains of Lee served as a balancing act of sorts for these regions in general as the heaviest rains from Hurricane Irene fell mostly to the east of Lee’s rains in and around the coastal areas, according to the Drought Monitor.
South Carolina, however, missed out on the tropical moisture leading to worsening of conditions along the Georgia border and within the Savannah River Basin region.
The past two to four months have been extremely dry and impacts were being reported in alfalfa and pasture conditions, along with stock ponds going dry.