Experts from the Southeastern River Forecast Center released their Water Resources Outlook this week and it doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture for the Savannah River Basin this summer.If you don’t have time for the full nine-minute video above, here are the highlights:
Although January was colder than usual, most of the Southeast experienced above normal temperatures for winter as a whole, and the season was drier than normal for precipitation. This aligns with the predictions climatologists have been making since late last year.
Moving into the spring and summer, the forecast calls for above average temperatures in April, but precipitation has an equal chance of being above, at or below average.
While not as important as rainfall, above normal temperatures do have an impact. They create higher evaporation from lakes; vegetation needs more moisture from the soil to survive; and the top layer of ground dries quicker.
Stream flows during this time of year are normally above average or in flood stage, however, they have been ranging in the below to well-below-average levels.
The takeaway: We will need greater-than-average rainfall for runoff to make it to the lakes if we continue to experience higher than normal temperatures.
There is one silver lining from their predictions: Since the precipitation outlook is neutral, there’s still a chance we could get above average rainfall.
Look for the next Water Resource Outlook in mid-April here.
~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office