After more than six weeks of temperatures in the 90s and low 100s with very little rain, many Georgians are asking, “How dry is it?”The Aug. 21 statewide Palmer Drought Severity Index value was -2.7. This means that the state as a whole is classified as being in moderate drought. A statewide PDSI value of -3 would classify Georgia as being in severe drought. Across the state, drought conditions range from mild to severe. A historical perspective adds more meaning to the PDSI. The statewide value of -2.7 is at the 2nd percentile for the third week in August. This means that in 98 out of 100 years, the statewide PDSI value for the third week in August would be higher, or less dry. In short, Georgia is having one of the worst August droughts on record. The PDSI is a long-term drought indicator and responds slowly to recent weather. Statewide PDSI values are available back to 1895. August 1998 through July 1999 was the 12th driest statewide August-through-July since 1895. July 1999 was the 24th driest since 1895. How Hot Is It? Another common question among Georgians is “How hot is it?” In July, statewide average temperature was above normal. But it was only the 60th warmest statewide July since 1895. The statewide average for May through July was actually below normal. The period ranked as only the 25th warmest May-through-July since 1895. However, because of a very warm winter, the average statewide for August 1998 through July 1999 was the 98th warmest since 1895.Stream Flow Rates a Concern The drought is having different impacts across the state. As of Aug. 23, the flow in many rivers and creeks was in the bottom 10th percentile. Low flow rates and water table levels are becoming a concern statewide. Outdoor watering bans are common across the state.Short-term Relief Scattered rain Aug. 23-24 brought short-term relief to many parts of the state. But this rain won’t break the drought. Most of the state needs more than half a foot of rain to end the drought. Northeast Georgia needs more than a foot. As of Aug. 21, the PDSI classifies northeast, west central, southwest and southeast Georgia as being in severe drought. North central, central, east central and south central Georgia are in moderate drought. Northwest Georgia is in mild drought.Soil Moisture Short The Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reports that moisture is short to very short in 81 percent of the state’s soils. This is unchanged from a week earlier. The 81 percent compares to 28 percent last year and 41 percent for the five-year average. GASS reports that more than 50 percent of the state’s pastures are poor to very poor. Some farmers are doing supplemental feeding and culling herds. The hot weather has stressed dairy cattle. The Crop Moisture Index is a measure of soil moisture available for use by crops. The Aug. 21 CMI indicates that southwest Georgia is extremely dry, with dryland crops in danger of being ruined. West central Georgia is severely dry, with potential yields severely cut. Excessively dry soils reduce yield prospects in northwest and northeast Georgia. And abnormally dry soils are hurting yield prospects in central, east central and southeast Georgia. The CMI indicates that soil moisture is short in north central and south central Georgia.Drought Links PDSI and CMI values and rankings are calculated by Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can get updates on drought conditions in Georgia and across the Southeast at the University of Georgia drought Web site. Or call your county Extension Service agent. Get updated weather data at the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Web site.
Press Association “We are all so happy and appreciate the fact we get to work with a manager like him. “He’s developed our squad and changed the mentality. He has done a lot of things for two years and this year really is the best.” Mourinho plans to integrate Chelsea’s emerging talent into his side at West Brom, with the final day clash at home to Sunderland one for the regulars on the day the trophy is lifted. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the 19-year-old midfielder, made his first start against Liverpool, but Ivanovic believes there are a number of young players who could make the grade at Chelsea, if Mourinho can successfully integrate them into a trophy-challenging side. “I hope this is just the beginning of a big career,” said Ivanovic of Loftus-Cheek, while also referring to Dominic Solanke, Izzy Brown, Andreas Christensen and Nathan Ake. “We have a great generation of young players. It’s not just Ruben. “We have a minimum of five, six players who can be in our squad and it is great for the manager to give them a chance to play. “This is the period, the next one or two years, where they need to prove they are really good.” Like Chelsea, Liverpool are looking to the future and life after talisman Steven Gerrard, who is leaving for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy this summer. Adam Lallana believes a collective improvement is the only way to fill the void created by Gerrard’s imminent departure. “He is irreplaceable,” Lallana told Liverpool TV. “I don’t think the Premier League or Liverpool realise what we’re going to miss out on next season. “The best way to replace him is not just one individual, it’s going to be a combination of every single player.” Not even Gerrard, whose feats have delivered success time and again for Liverpool, can secure Champions League football next term now. The Reds trail fourth-placed Manchester United by six points – and have an inferior goal difference – with two games to go. Lallana remains bullish. “I just feel with the disappointments we’ve had this season we can really learn from it and push on as a young squad and come back next season and fight for the title and to get into the Champions League places,” Lallana added. “Looking for one more to beat (my best),” Terry told Chelsea TV. “Two games to go. I’m fit. Hopefully I play in both. I’ll be begging the manager to let me play. “Two games we need to keep winning and keep pushing on.” Mourinho’s management has been lauded by Terry’s fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic, who expressed incredulity that the Portuguese had not won a Manager of the Month award this term while tipping the Blues boss for the Manager of the Season prize. “There is not even a question over who the best manager is this season,” Ivanovic said. “I don’t how that (not winning manager of month) happened. But it doesn’t matter. If he won one or not, for sure he is the best manager this season. “He always makes the difference. Most of the games, when you study them, every single one he was important in making sure we won them. “He has crucial things to say and crucial things to decide. When there is a big game he is always so motivated, but small games too. Inside the team, it’s all about him. John Terry has played every minute of Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning campaign and will ask Jose Mourinho to continue in the last two games of the season in a bid to beat his personal goalscoring record. Terry scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season and 39th in all – surpassing David Unsworth’s record for a defender – in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, which all but ended the Reds’ hopes of Champions League qualification. The 34-year-old Blues skipper has equalled his best goals haul for a season of eight and wants to play at West Brom on May 18 and at home to Sunderland on May 24 in a bid for his ninth.