The drought in Calhoun County is officially over but now residents now have to brace for a blast of frigid temperatures beginning next Tuesday.
A wetter-than-usual October — usually the driest month of the year — has significantly reduced the drought in Alabama according to Gary Goggins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Calera.
Goggins said the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map — which tracks rainfall, soil moisture and temperature across the country — released Thursday morning shows the drought has vanished in much of the state.
“Right now Calhoun County is not classified under a drought category,” Goggins said.
Goggins said that just to the south of Calhoun County there still remains a severe drought stretching from Shelby County to Randolph County and down into the I-85 corridor.
“But that is important because there were some areas that were in extreme drought as of last week. We have certainly improved a good bit across the whole state,” Goggins said.
Goggins said that Calhoun County received above average rainfall for the month of October.
In late September much of Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega counties were under “moderate drought” conditions, according to the drought monitor.
Goggins said next Tuesday a very strong cold front will pass through Calhoun County.
“Tuesday is going to be the coldest air so far this season and very abnormal this time of year,” Goggins said.
Temperatures on Tuesday will barely exceed 40 degrees and Tuesday night the mercury will linger in the lower 20s, according to Goggins. The normal high temperature for this time of year is 69 degrees, Goggins said.
“That will definitely be the first widespread freeze across Central Alabama,” said Goggins, adding that there will be strong wind gusts on Tuesday.
“We’re anticipating ending the frost and freeze program at that point,” said Goggins.
Goggins said that the weather service issues frost and freeze advisories up until Thanksgiving unless something happens before that time.
“It certainly looks that way this year,” Goggins said.
Goggins said that November and early December is the secondary severe weather season because of a more active pattern including lots of cold fronts.
Goggins said the long-term forecast for the next 10 days does not include any threat of severe weather.