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Sunrise and cloudsJuly 14, 2000 — Georgia is receiving some much-needed rain, but it won't be nearly enough to make up a significant rainfall deficit. The forecast for the coming summer months continues to call for hotter, drier conditions in many parts of the United States, according to the newest seasonal outlook from NOAA's National Weather Service.

Along with Georgia, much of the Southeast continues to suffer from severe drought conditions, including much of Florida, Southeast Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, most of Alabama, South Carolina, and western North Carolina. Georgia's drought is the worst since 1986, and it is the twelfth driest January through June period for the state in 106 years of records, according to statistics released today by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. It was the third driest January through June for Florida.

Increased tropical storm activity late this summer (a result of the continuing La Niña) is expected to bring some relief for the eastern part of the drought area.

Drought conditions have improved in the central part of the United States, but some parts of Nebraska, southwestern Iowa and northwestern Kansas continue to experience drought.

In contrast, increased monsoon conditions should make the Southwest wetter than normal this summer.

June was drier and warmer than normal in the Southeast and Southwest, but cooler than normal in the north central part of the United States and the Great Plains. The outlook continues to call for warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Southeast, the Southwest and the upper Midwest.

"We have been lucky that we have not yet experienced a major, widespread heat event, but people should continue to watch the National Weather Service's official forecasts, which could signal potential heat wave conditions," said David Unger, a meteorologist with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. San Francisco had a well-predicted hot episode in June that claimed 22 lives, and a recent heat spell in the South has been blamed for four deaths in Houston and one in South Carolina.

"Our National Weather Service forecast offices work with local officials to identify evolving heat waves early," said Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, director of the NOAA's National Weather Service. "By being prepared with emergency heat response plans, communities can educate citizens about the dangers of prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity and reduce heat-related injuries and deaths."

NOAA's seasonal outlook is available on the Web at it Climate Prediction Center

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Drought Information Center

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center

NOAA's Excessive Heat Index

Climate of 2000: June in Historical Perspective

Media Contact:
Barry Reichenbaugh, NOAA's National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622.