The drought is over...for now - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The drought is over...for now

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Heavy rain has fallen in much of Georgia this week.

Many counties are under Flood Watches for the next couple of days.

And according to the Assistant State Climatologist, the drought is over for most of Georgia, but all of this recent rain has one group of people nervous.

An appropriate musical choice to describe the weather these days might be the B.J. Thomas classic "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head". That's because the rains have been steady throughout the month. And they've been falling statewide. Rainfall totals are just above the average.

"From January 1 through Thursday, we've gotten 41.83 inches at that Albany gauge. We get 50 for the year. We've got October, November, December to come up with 9 inches," said Doug Wilson of the Flint River Policy Center.

That's a dramatic difference from the levels of 2007.

Wilson said, "for the same time period, from January through September 17th, we'd gotten 28 and a half inches."

While the rainfall totals have been at or just above the normals for 2009, it's been the skittish nature of the rain that has given farmers fits.

According to Rad Yager of the University of Georgia's Dougherty County Extension, "our early Spring rainfall was extremely heavy."

And that led to problems for one of South Georgia's staple crops.

"Our corn yields suffered because of all of that excessive rain that we had this Spring. We had delayed planting and leeched a lot of fertilizer," said Yager.

Now those who make their living off of the land are looking for one thing from the weather forecast.

"Farmers are anxious to see a little sunshine," said Yager.

And if this is an average year, they should be in luck as the calendar marches toward October.

Wilson said, "we dry out a little bit, normally. Starting about Thanksgiving we get pretty good rainfall."

But despite the up and down rains, it looks like it will be a good year overall for the crops.

"I think really all of our crops, pecans, peanuts, cotton. All of those crops look very promising," said Yager.

And with a little help from nature, farmers will be singing a happy tune this Fall.

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