Southeast Climate Webinar Recap
May 15, 2020
A Summary of the
Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
The Southeast Climate monthly webinar series is held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 10:00 am ET. This series is hosted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the NOAA National Weather Service. These webinars provide the region's stakeholders and interested parties with timely information on current and developing climate conditions such as drought, floods, and tropical storms, as well as climatic events like El Niño and La Niña. Speakers may also discuss the impacts of these conditions on topics such as wildfires, agriculture production, disruption to water supply, and ecosystems.

Register here for next month’s webinar on Tuesday June 9, 10:00 am ET, which will include a Hurricane Season Outlook .

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April Climate Conditions and Outlooks

Webinar recording is found here

  • Temperature: April temperatures were cooler in the North, and warmer in the south. 
  • Precipitation: Precipitation was below average for southern Florida, and above average for central Alabama, western North Carolina, and central Georgia.
  • U.S. Caribbean: The U.S. Caribbean experienced mostly above average temperatures and below average precipitation.
  • Storm events: Severe weather on April 12-13 included an EF-4 tornado in South Carolina and an EF-2 tornado in Georgia.
  • Drought: Current drought is largely constrained to the Florida panhandle and peninsula.
  • ENSO: ENSO neutral conditions are favored for summer and autumn.
  • Looking ahead: The general outlook for late spring/summer is expected to be warm and wet through most of the Southeast region over the next three months. Drought conditions in Florida will likely persist in the near term.
Water Resources

  • Streamflow: Above normal across most of Alabama, Georgia, and Upstate Carolinas.
  • Flood: Primary High Flow/Flood Season has ended for most of Southeast. The exception is for the Florida peninsula, where a wet Season / flood season begins in the coming weeks.
  • Looking ahead: Streamflow Forecast through mid-summer is near normal with typical flooding conditions.
Focus: Agriculture in the Southeast - Impacts and Outlook

  • A warm winter caused problems for fruit crops and increased insect pest pressure.
  • Wet spring conditions delayed field work and affected crop establishment.
  • Dry conditions in Florida caused problems for pastures and forage.
  • Warmer and wetter than normal conditions expected for early summer, along with an active Atlantic hurricane season.
Product Spotlight: Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Manuals for Agriculture and Forestry

  • To help producers prepare for and recover from hurricane impacts, the USDA Southeast Climate Hub is developing technical manuals with guidance for the major crops grown or raised in the southeast US. Also included are manuals for diary, poultry, forestry, and aquaculture. 
  • Draft versions of the manuals are available at
What happened over April: Southeast Temperature

April temperatures ranged from below average to average across the Southeast region, with above average temperatures in the Florida peninsula that included some stations reporting their warmest April on record.
A look at temperature departures from normal across the Southeast in April. High Plains RCC.
What happened over the April: Southeast Precipitation

Precipitation was near normal to well above normal across much of the Southeast, except across Southern Florida and parts of the U.S. Caribbean, which received below normal precipitation. Several stations in central Alabama and central Georgia recorded their wettest April on record.
A look at precipitation departures from normal across the Southeast in April. High Plains RCC.
Current Conditions: Drought

Drought in the Southeast is mostly confined to Florida, with some areas in southern Alabama.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Southeast. Maps are updated weekly. National Drought Mitigation Center.
Current Conditions: River Flood Status

Most river flooding has subsided across the Southeast, with some minor flooding along the coastal rivers in south Georgia and the low country of South Carolina.
A look at current river flood conditions. NWS Southeast River Forecast Center.
Looking Ahead: Streamflow and Flooding Forecast

Streamflow Forecast through mid Summer is near normal with typical flooding conditions across most of the Southeast.
Three month (May/June/July) forecast for streamflow. NWS Southeast River Forecast Center.

Sandra Rayne, Southeast Regional Climate Center
Jeff Dobur, SE NWS River Forecast Center
Pam Knox, University of Georgia
Steve McNulty, USDA Climate Hub

Relevant Resources

Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC)
NWS Southeast River Forecast Center (SERFC) /

Streamflow Monitoring & Forecasting  

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) - U.S. Drought Portal

Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast - Blog

USDA Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Guides for Agriculture and Forestry

NOAA/SECART 2020 Hurricane Awareness Webinar Series (weekly, April 29-June 3)

For webinar-related questions or suggestions, please contact: 
Meredith Muth,