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Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar: May 28, 2024

Event Date
May 28, 2024
Event Time
10:00 am - 11:00 am

The Southeast region largely experienced above-average temperatures over the past month, with several locations on track to record one of their hottest spring seasons on record. Drought is largely absent, except in the Florida peninsula. As we transition into the summer, the region as a whole can expect to continue experiencing wet and hot conditions, with normal risk of flooding. 

Check out the recording below to hear more on Southeast climate conditions and a special presentation, "Developing Heat Early Warning Systems  to Protect Public Health in Warm and Humid Conditions” from Dr. Pablo A. Méndez Lázaro of the University of Puerto Rico. For more information, please contact Meredith Muth (


Introduction and Welcome

Speaker: Chris Fuhrmann, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • This webinar contains a special presentation on ""Loading the Dice: How risk and vulnerability are changing the Southeast tornado disaster landscape."



Southeast Climate Conditions 

Speaker: Chris Fuhrmann, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Temperatures were above average across the region. Several locations are on track to record one of their warmest springs on record.
  • Precipitation was mostly above average across the region. The wettest locations were found across Tennessee, North Carolina, and southern portions of Alabama and Georgia. The driest locations were found across the Florida peninsula. Precipitation was above average across the U.S. Caribbean. Several locations are on track to record one of their wettest springs on record.
  • Drought conditions improved in Tennessee and North Carolina. Drought was eliminated across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Small pockets of Abnormal Dryness (D0) emerged across the interior of the region. Moderate Drought (D1) emerged across South Florida, but is expected to end later this summer. No new drought development is expected across the region, including the Caribbean.
  • El Niño continued to weaken and is expected to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions within the next month, with about a 50% chance of La Niña developing sometime this summer.
  • The next two weeks are expected to be warmer than normal, especially across the southern tier of the region, with wet conditions across much of the region, except Florida. 
  • Over the next month, above-average temperatures are expected across much of the region, except the northern tier, which is also expected to be wetter than normal.
  • Over the next three months, temperatures and precipitation are expected to be above average across the Southeast and Caribbean.
  • The Atlantic Hurricane season is expected to be busy! NOAA forecasters predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. Read more.
  • For more information, contact Chris Fuhrmann.
  • Additional regional climate and drought information:



Water Resources Outlook 

Speaker: Todd Hamill, Southeast River Forecast Center, National Weather Service

  • While we have seen some river flooding in the past month, the number of floods has gone down significantly from this past winter and spring, which is to be expected.
  • The 28-day U.S. Geological Survey streamflows are mostly near normal across the Southeast. There was a small uptick in the average across the Southeast with recent rainfall, which still keeps streamflow within the normal range.
  • Looking Ahead. As we shift from the El Niño to neutral conditions in the equatorial Pacific, and we are in a fairly normal summer pattern with June around the corner, we expect normal river flooding through the summer months. It takes significantly more rainfall to produce river flooding in the summer months than it does in the January–April time frame because of warmer temperatures and increased competition for the water. The region’s best chance for flooding will be with ‘popup’ thunderstorms on a smaller scale or tropical activity on a larger scale.
  • Additional streamflow and flood information is available from the NWS River Forecast Centers:
  • View a recording of the May 2024 NWS Water Resources Outlook for the Southeast.
  • For more information, contact Todd Hamill.



Agricultural Impacts and Outlook

Speaker: Pam Knox, University of Georgia

  • Heavy and frequent rain has continued to delay field work and caused erosion.
  • Excess moisture has encouraged growth of fungal diseases like seedling disease and stem rot. Warm temperatures have led to above-average Growing Degree Days (GDD). Dry conditions in central Florida have put stress on citrus, extra irrigation needed. View GDD maps.
  • Frost did not damage blueberries or peaches much this year, resulting in abundant harvests.
  • For more information, contact Pam Knox.
  • Additional Information:



Special Presentation: Heat Initiatives in the U.S. Caribbean: Impacts, Interactions, and Adaptation Actions

Speaker: Pablo A. Méndez Lázaro​, University of Puerto Rico

  • Due to its tropical climate, most people in Puerto Rico do not perceive excessive heat on the island as a hazard.
  • Understanding heat stress in Puerto Rico requires knowledge of meteorological drivers as well as physical and social vulnerabilities. The Caribbean Climate Adaptation Network (CCAN) is partnering with numerous groups across multiple scales to gain knowledge in these areas to better understand heat stress in the region.
  • There are many groups in Puerto Rico that are vulnerable to extreme heat, and these vulnerabilities are exacerbated by inequities related to location, social and racial factors, economics, and compound hazards.
  • Extreme heat in Puerto Rico leads to a number of negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
  • CCAN hosted the first U.S. Caribbean Extreme Heat Summit earlier this year to raise awareness of the heat hazard in the region and discuss adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • Vulnerability to heat in Puerto Rico is strongly related to the presence and use of air conditioning.
  • Additional information also found in the U.S. Caribbean chapter of the  5th National Climate Assessment .
  • For more information, contact Pablo A. Méndez Lázaro.



Q&A and Closing

Speaker: Meredith Muth, NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

  • Register for the next webinars!
    • June 25, 2024: 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook
    • July 23, 2024: Urban Heat: the Role of Buildings, Shade, and Green Infrastructure on Urban Heat Islands
    • August 24, 2024: The new National Water Prediction Service (NWPS)
    • September 24, 2024: Fire Weather Portal for the Southeast 


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