Drought Monitor: Summer rain ends the drought
There have been major improvements to the drought monitor over the last few weeks. St. Mary Parish is the only location with any level of drought.
South Louisiana is catching up on rainfall. So far this year, Baton Rouge has picked up 31.69 inches of rain. Baton Rouge typically accumulates 39.18 inches of rain by this week in the year. While we are still behind, more consistent rain will likely keep the drought conditions from returning.
There are five classifications of drought.
D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought
As drought is uncommon for this region, the symptoms have been mild. Under an extreme drought grass stops growing, trees are stressed and creeks and bayous are low.
Historically, extreme drought conditions lead to a number of problems. Rice crops become more expensive to maintain, soybean yields are also reduced. While the rivers and bayous are low, saltwater can intrude. That makes river water too salty for irrigation. Trees continue to be drought stressed and the crawfish population falls. Water pressure may fall and officials may ask for voluntary water restrictions.
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