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Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar: July 26, 2022

Event Date
July 26, 2022
Event Time
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Temperatures and precipitation were highly variable across the region this past month. Precipitation was generally wetter across the region, which helped alleviate some of the drought conditions. However, there was still much variation in precipitation, which is typical of July. Streamflows are near normal across most of the region.

Looking ahead: The three-month Southeast outlooks depict that the region will likely be warmer than normal and is leaning to be wetter than normal throughout most of the region with some exceptions. Expect streamflows to continue mostly in the below-normal to normal range for much of the Southeast through late summer and early autumn. The Atlantic Hurricane Season has begun–stay prepared! Check out this month’s special presentation, “Harmful Algal Blooms in the Southeast,” to learn about how North Carolina monitors bloom events and linkages with climate conditions. 


Introduction and Welcome

Speaker: Chip Conrad, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Webinar focus: Climate and special topics pertaining to the Southeast region.
  • Our special topic today is "Harmful Algal Blooms in the Southeast."



Climate Conditions 

Speaker: Chip Konrad, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Temperature, Past 30 Days: Temperatures have been above average in Alabama, Florida, northwestern Georgia, and western North Carolina. Temperatures have been normal to below normal across central and southern South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Precipitation, Past 30 Days: The past 30 days have generally been wetter but with much variation, which is typical of July. It was especially dry in northern Alabama, southeastern Florida, and central Virginia.
  • Tropical Storm Activity: Tropical Storm Colin formed on July 2 with 40 mph winds and tracked northeast along the Carolina coast, dissipating on July 3. There is no sign of activity in the tropics for the next week, but sea surface temperatures (SST) are warm, so once they start becoming active we could see storms develop quickly.
  • Drought: Marked improvements have been observed recently in many areas due to high precipitation. There are still pockets of moderate drought (D1) in North Carolina, Virginia, and northern Alabama according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought still persists with moderate drought (D1) and severe drought (D2) in Puerto Rico, and severe (D2) and extreme drought (D3) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC's) Seasonal Drought Outlook depicts that drought removal is likely across the mainland Southeast region. The U.S. Drought Portal ( provides additional drought information at national and local levels.
  • La Niña Advisory: La Niña is favored to continue through 2022 with the odds for La Niña decreasing into the Northern Hemisphere late summer (60% chance in July–September 2022) before increasing through the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter 2022 (62%–66% chance). This could lead to a ‘triple dip’ with three La Niña years in a row. More details here. La Niña continuation may mean another warm and dry winter.
  • Looking Ahead, Next Term: The CPC August 1–5 outlook shows that the temperatures will likely be warmer than normal across most of the region. Precipitation is leaning towards being above normal for most of the region, except in southern portions of South Carolina and Georgia, and northern Florida.
  • Looking Ahead, Next Three Months: According to the current CPC three-month outlook, the region will likely be warmer than normal and is leaning to be wetter than normal—except in northern Alabama and northwestern Georgia, where there are equal chances of wetter or drier conditions.



Water Resources: Late Summer – Autumn Flood Outlook 

Speaker: Jeff Dobur, Southeast River Forecast Center, National Weather Service

  • The 28-day U.S. Geological Survey streamflows are near normal across most of the Southeast, with the exception of the Chowan River basin in southern Virginia where they are below normal. Streamflows typically fall off this time of year, with the exception of the Florida peninsula.
  • Looking Ahead: Expect streamflows to continue mostly in the below-normal to normal range for much of the Southeast through late summer and early autumn. Below-normal streamflow will be more likely if tropical activity does not impact the Southeast. Flooding will be typical, which means a low chance for the interior Southeast river systems and an increased risk across the Florida peninsula with the risk of tropical systems, especially in September.
  • View additional information.



Agriculture Impact and Outlook

Speaker: Pam Knox, University of Georgia 

  • Improvements have been observed in drought conditions due to the change to a wetter weather pattern, and this has helped many producers. However, rain and high humidity have greatly increased the incidence of fungal diseases.
  • Looking Ahead: For the next few weeks we expect continued warm conditions and continuation of rainier conditions, but there will be some dry periods. 
  • Additional information on reporting impacts is found here. Sign up for the Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast: Blog.



Harmful Algal Blooms in the Southeast

Speaker: Dan Wiltsie, Algal Bloom Response Coordinator, North Carolina Division of Water Resources

  • Algae are important organisms that form the basis of all aquatic food webs. Certain environmental conditions (warm temperatures, low water flow, elevated nutrients) can cause algae to undergo rapid growth, leading to blooms.
  • Blooms can cause detrimental effects in water bodies, including potential toxin production that can cause adverse health effects in humans and animals.
  • The North Carolina Division of Water Resources investigates bloom reports and analyzes samples for algal community composition and microcystin (cyanotoxin) presence.
  • The North Carolina Division of Water Resources algal bloom dashboard allows users to report and track algal bloom and fish kill events across the state. Many other states in the region maintain similar dashboards.
  • Several recent bloom events help to highlight the importance of citizen science and other groups and agencies in reporting and analyzing blooms.
  • Algae thrive and bloom in the hot, dry conditions that climate change is expected to bring to North Carolina, so it’s likely that bloom formation will continue in the future under these conditions. 




Speaker: Meredith Muth, NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System

  • Register for the next webinars:
    • August 23, 2022, Climate, Heat, and the Southeast
    • September 27, 2022, USGS Next Generation Update


About This Webinar

The Southeast Climate monthly webinar series is hosted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and the NOAA National Weather Service. These webinars provide the region 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 agriculture production, water resources, wildfires, and ecosystems.


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