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Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar: May 10, 2022

Event Date
May 10, 2022
Event Time
10:00 am - 11:00 am

The Southeast region experienced near-average temperatures in the last 30 days. Precipitation, in general, was variable and below average for most of the region. This dryness has contributed to the gradual intensification of drought conditions in some parts of the region, including the eastern Carolinas and southern Florida. Streamflows are near normal across most of the Southeast with the exception being coastal North Carolina and southern Virginia, where they are below normal.

Looking ahead, the three-month Southeast outlooks depict a higher probability of above-normal temperatures, near-normal streamflow ranges and typical flood conditions, and some drought removal across the region. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1. Check out this month’s special presentation, “Updated Sea Level Rise Scenarios and Extreme Water Level Probabilities for U.S. Coastlines,” to learn about how sea-level rise and coastal flooding may impact the East and Gulf coastlines.


Introduction and Welcome

Speaker: Sandra Rayne, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Webinar focus: Climate and special topics pertaining to the Southeast region.
  • Our special topic today is "Updated Sea Level Rise Scenarios and Extreme Water Level Probabilities for U.S. Coastlines."



Climate Conditions 

Speaker: Sandra Rayne, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Climate Overview: In general, temperatures were near average and precipitation was below average for the past 30 days in most of the region. Severe weather chances are increasing as we continue through May and June. Key severe weather events observed last month included an EF-4 tornado in Georgia on April 5. 
  • La Niña Advisory: La Niña advisory conditions are favored to continue with a 59% chance through June–August 2022 and a 50%–55% chance through the fall. This could lead to the 3rd La Niña in a row this winter! The next update is this Thursday, May 12, 2022.  
  • Drought: Drought conditions continue to slowly expand and strengthen in parts of the Southeast region. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, there is severe drought (D2) in eastern North Carolina and southern Florida, and moderate drought (D1) in the eastern Carolinas, parts of Georgia, northern Virginia, and southern Florida. There are moderate drought (D1) pockets in southern Puerto Rico with severe drought (D2) for parts of the Virgin Islands. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's (CPC's) Monthly Drought Outlook depicts that drought is expected to persist in South Carolina and into Georgia but improve elsewhere. The U.S. Drought Portal ( provides additional drought information at national and local levels. 
  • Looking Ahead, Next Week: The CPC May 14–18 outlook shows a higher probability of warmer-than-normal temperatures and wetter-than-normal conditions across most of the region except for Florida.
  • Looking Ahead, Seasonal: The current CPC three-month outlook shows a higher probability of above-normal temperatures, with wetter-than-normal conditions in Virginia and Florida and equal chances of wetter or drier conditions elsewhere. The next CPC seasonal outlook will be released on May 19.
  • Tropical Activity: Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1. The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center will start issuing outlooks on May 15. 



Water Resources: Summer 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 coastal North Carolina and 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 in the normal range for much of the Southeast through summer. Flooding will be typical, which means a low chance for the interior Southeast river systems and an increased risk across the Florida peninsula as the wet season begins and the potential for tropical systems increases, especially in July.
  • View additional information.



Agriculture Impact and Outlook

Speaker: Pam Knox, University of Georgia 

  • Warm and dry weather in the last few weeks has helped first-cut hay harvest but hampered planting of crops like cotton and peanuts due to dry soil, and therefore lots of irrigation running. Cold damage to blueberries is becoming evident in the Georgia harvest. Dry conditions have reduced diseases but increased insect damage.
  • Looking Ahead: The next two weeks look warmer and drier than normal, so drought could expand in the short term. The tropics are starting to wake up—it is time to prepare if you haven’t yet.
  • Additional information on reporting impacts is found here. Sign up for the Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast: Blog.



Updated Sea Level Rise Scenarios and Extreme Water Level Probabilities for U.S. Coastlines

Speaker: William Sweet, NOAA National Ocean Service

  • The 2022 Interagency Sea Level Rise Report is the U.S. authoritative sea level rise information.
  • Sea levels are headed about 1 foot higher in the next 30 years (on average) and likely at least another foot higher, perhaps by 2100.
  • Lower emissions mean a more likely chance of lower overall sea levels by 2100+.
  • Without action, the U.S. is headed for a coastal flood regime shift, as only about 1 foot separates minor (~2 feet), moderate (3 feet), and major (4 feet) flood severity levels.
  • Elevation matters—lower elevations are at greater risk.
  • Heavier rains, stronger storms, and rising groundwater tables are compounding factors.
  • For more information: 




Speaker: Meredith Muth, NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System

  • Register for the next webinars:
    • June 28, 2022, 2022 Hurricane Outlook
    • July 26, 2022, Harmful Algae Blooms in the Southeast
  • There is a new webinar time starting in June! We are moving these webinars to the 4th Tuesday of the month.


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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