Drought conditions have expanded over the past three months to include most of Georgia. The major exceptions are north-central and northeast Georgia, where conditions are rated as abnormally dry. Additionally, Bibb, Crawford, Macon, Peach and Houston counties are classified as being abnormally dry.During the late summer and fall, Georgia depends on tropical weather to bring much-needed rain. This fall has been very dry with most of the state receiving less than 70 percent of normal rain. Many locations in the coastal plain and coastal Georgia have received 50 percent or less of normal rain over the past three months.Soil moisture conditions along the Georgia coast into southeast Georgia are near the 1st percentile for this time of year. Being at the first percentile, we would expect more moisture in the soils in these areas 99 out of 100 years. Also, the Okefenokee Swamp is very dry.Seasonally adjusted stream flows are slowly declining across the state. Stream flows respond to drought more slowly than soil moisture. The bountiful rain that Georgia experienced last winter and spring has helped to keep stream flows near normal for most of the fall. However, in recent weeks the dryness is starting to show in decreased stream flows. Flows are particularly low in northwest Georgia, where most streams are at the 10th percentile or lower, meaning stream flows would be greater 90 out of 100 years in this area. Wildfire risks have increased across the state due to dry conditions and falling leaves. Anyone outdoors should be cautious when using equipment that can cause sparks. Special vigilance is needed with any outdoor fires. Check with the local fire department or the Georgia Forestry Commission concerning restrictions and outdoor burn permits.Georgia depends on winter and spring rains combined with cool temperatures to recharge soil moisture, groundwater, streams and reservoirs. The fall and spring climate outlooks do not hold much promise for drought recovery. Climatic conditions are expected to be warmer than normal and drier than normal through the spring. Georgia should see some improvement in soil moisture and stream flow conditions in early spring since moisture loss due to evaporation and plant water use is lower during cool months. This improvement in moisture can be misleading. Relative to normal recharge during this period and this winter is expected to be limited.Up-to-date information on dry conditions across Georgia can be found at www.georgiadrought.org. Updated weather conditions can be found at www.georgiaweather.net.
The Welsh outfit already have a new permanent manager in place with Garry Monk, in temporary charge since the dismissal of Michael Laudrup in February, signing a three-year contract last week. And with regard to what the coming weeks and months might hold for the Swans, Jenkins, quoted on www.walesonline.co.uk, said: “I think a shake-up is needed – and whatever number we manage to bring in, whether it’s two, three, four or five players, they need to be first-team starters. That’s where we are at. Press Association Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins feels a “shake-up” is needed at the club this summer, with players definitely good enough to be first-team starters coming in and “new motivation” being cultivated. They won five and lost six of their 14 top-flight games under Monk, with three victories coming in the final four matches. Squad modifications have begun, with the club on Monday confirming Leroy Lita, David Ngog and two players they have had on loan, Roland Lamah and Alvaro Vazquez, are to depart. The Swans have also announced they will be heading to the United States as part of their pre-season preparations. Monk’s men will be based in Chicago from July 6 – 20 and play friendlies against Chivas Guadalajara on July 16 and Minnesota United on July 19. “It’s all well and good having 20, 25 players in the squad, but we need to improve the starting XI – and I don’t think anybody would argue with that. “Some people have said we signed too many players from Spain last year, but ultimately it doesn’t matter where they come from, as long as they are good enough it will be fine. “I think the only thing you would say about the squad in general is that a lot of the players we brought in last year didn’t make the starting XI. The change we need to make is to ensure they are good enough.” He added: “We’ll always be looking in the market for players at the right price and we’ve got to judge, whether it’s a £2million Michu or a £12million Wilfried Bony (their record signing), whether it’s right for the club at the time. “We’ll always weigh up those decisions and take them as they come. “With the new management in place, there needs to be new motivation in the squad and we all need to be going forward in a different way next year. “We need to make sure we achieve that by getting the right mixture of the squad.” Swansea finished their 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign in 12th place, nine points clear of the relegation zone.