South could use a tropical storm
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are still tracking two disturbances in the tropical Atlantic, either or both of which could develop into tropical storms in the coming days. And while no one would wish a disaster on islands in the Caribbean, or on communities along the Southeastern coastline of the U.S, these storms can have their upside.
I'm talking about rain. There are still parts of the Southeast that have never recovered from last year's drought. Some of the most severe drought conditions in the nation persist in portions of northern Georgia, and the western Carolinas.
Souch drought conditions in summer are frequently ended in August or September by a tropical storm or two that stumble ashore along the Gulf Coast or in northern Florida or the Carolinas.
But it didn't happen last year. The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season never really paid off for the Southland. All but one storm bypassed the region entirely. And even as Maryland's drought was relieved over the past winter, conditions to our south, as noted on last week's Drought Monitor map (below), remain in what is defined as "exceptional" drought - the worst category on the scale. More than half the region is in "severe" drought, or worse.
No one can say yet whether either of the two areas of bad weather in the Atlantic will develop into tropical storms, much less where they will take their rain. But AccuWeather.com is projecting storm tracks that at least point in more or less, kind of, the right direction.
Whatever the fate of these storms, we need to spare a kind thought for tropical weather, and the potential benefits it can bring to drought-stricken regions of the country.