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NOAA satellite image of Tropical Storm Allison, June 5, 2001June 15, 2001 — Tropical Storm Allison and its remnants brought a deluge of rain, floods, record damage and more than 30 deaths throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast. The rains also ended a severe drought from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle and brought relief to the thirsty Florida landscape besieged by wildfires, according to the latest NOAA Drought Monitor and Drought Outlook. (Click on NOAA satellite image of Tropical Storm Allison as it came ashore June 5, 2001.)

However, scientists from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a part of the National Weather Service, said despite the heavy rains long-term drought conditions will still linger in the Florida Peninsula and some regions of the Southeast.

"The problem with getting so much rain in such a short period of time is the ground is saturated and the water has no where to go," said Doug Lecomte, a CPC drought specialist. "In the last nine days, [Allison] left enough rain to supply the water needs of the entire U. S. population for one year," Lecomte added.

NOAA satellite image Allison remnants, June 15, 2001The rains have eased drought conditions in Georgia and South Carolina, but the heaviest rains bypassed western South Carolina and extreme western parts of North Carolina, where drought has been the worst. Water supplies and lake levels continue to be a concern in northern Georgia and the western Carolinas, Lecomte said. (Click NOAA satellite image of remnants of Tropical Storm Allison on June 15, 2001.)

In the Northwest, recent precipitation brought some relief from dryness, but long-term drought conditions are expected to persist. "For the Pacific Northwest, we don't expect a dramatic change for some time," said Lecomte. "To make a real impact it would take a winter of heavy snows and a spring of consistent rains."

NOAA classifies drought three ways:

  • Hydrological, or water resources drought—the long-term lake and well-level deficits—which takes longer to start and end;
  • Agricultural drought, which results from short-term dryness and often causes greater economic impacts, and;
  • Drought in forested areas, which increase the potential wildfires

On Thursday and Friday, the remnants of Allison dropped up to four inches of rain across the Carolinas. NOAA's hurricane forecasters said it was unlikely the remnants would reshape into a tropical storm because of the cool waters off the East Coast.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Storm Watch — Get the latest severe weather information across the USA

Climate Watch, June 2001 — Rainfall and Flooding from Tropical Storm Allison

National Weather Warnings

NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center — Get the latest excessive rainfall forecasts

NOAA's Drought Assessment

NOAA's Summer Outlook

Latest Seasonal Outlook

2001 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook

USA Weather Threats

NOAA's River Forecast Centers

NOAA's Hydrologic Information Center

River Conditions from NOAA's Hydrologic Information Center — includes national graphic

NOAA's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services

NOAA's Flooding Page

NOAA Flood Satellite Images

NOAA's National Hurricane Center — Get the latest advisories here

NOAA Satellite Images — The latest satellite views

Colorized Satellite Images

NOAA 3-D Satellite Images

NOAA Says 5 to 7 Hurricanes Could Threaten

NOAA's Weather Page

Media Contact:
Carmeyia Gillis, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163