Counties with the worst droughts in Alabama

Written by:
July 19, 2024
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Counties with the worst droughts in Alabama

About one-fifth of the continental United States is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Storms during this past winter brought heavy (in some areas, record-setting) rainfall and flooding to California, offering the state an expected two-year reprieve from widespread droughts that covered nearly 100% of the state from 2020 to 2022. But in other parts of the country, especially dry conditions continue. West Virginia is currently the state with the most widespread drought, covering 90.5% of the state's area.

In periods of drought, levels of major reservoirs and rivers can fall dramatically. Groundwater systems are also affected as shrinking water supplies impact agriculture and hydropower generation while increasing wildfire risk.

Periods of drought have intensified and become more frequent in recent years due to climate change. Scientists predict that even in low-emissions scenarios, much of the U.S. will be drier by the end of the century.

Stacker cited data from the U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Alabama with the worst droughts as of July 16, 2024. Counties are listed in order of percent of the area in drought conditions. "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought but is included as a separate data point. Additional data for the state overall is also included. Any counties not experiencing drought are not included in the list. Counties are listed in order of drought severity.

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Emma Rubin // Stacker

Alabama statistics

- Abnormally dry: 39.7%
- Area in drought: 41.6% (#9 nationally)
--- Moderate drought: 25.2%
--- Severe drought: 12.3%
--- Extreme drought: 4.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Dale County

- Abnormally dry: 24.8%
- Area in drought: 75.2%
--- Moderate drought: 75.2%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Cleburne County

- Abnormally dry: 20.8%
- Area in drought: 79.2%
--- Moderate drought: 68.0%
--- Severe drought: 11.2%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Pickens County

- Abnormally dry: 17.7%
- Area in drought: 82.3%
--- Moderate drought: 38.6%
--- Severe drought: 41.9%
--- Extreme drought: 1.8%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Calhoun County

- Abnormally dry: 14.9%
- Area in drought: 85.1%
--- Moderate drought: 35.5%
--- Severe drought: 49.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Thomas Burks // Shutterstock

Randolph County

- Abnormally dry: 12.4%
- Area in drought: 87.6%
--- Moderate drought: 87.6%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Saint Clair County

- Abnormally dry: 2.7%
- Area in drought: 97.3%
--- Moderate drought: 93.2%
--- Severe drought: 4.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Franklin County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 100.0%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Morgan County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 99.7%
--- Severe drought: 0.3%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Cullman County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 86.5%
--- Severe drought: 13.4%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Lawrence County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 82.4%
--- Severe drought: 17.6%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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JNix // Shutterstock

Blount County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 69.2%
--- Severe drought: 30.9%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Jackson County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 46.7%
--- Severe drought: 53.3%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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DeKalb County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 41.4%
--- Severe drought: 58.6%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Shackleford Photography // Shutterstock

Cherokee County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 25.9%
--- Severe drought: 74.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Marshall County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 19.9%
--- Severe drought: 80.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Etowah County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 1.2%
--- Severe drought: 98.8%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Winston County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 19.5%
--- Severe drought: 80.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Colbert County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 86.3%
--- Severe drought: 13.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Marion County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 38.9%
--- Severe drought: 46.1%
--- Extreme drought: 15.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Madison County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 31.9%
--- Severe drought: 33.0%
--- Extreme drought: 35.1%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Walker County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 8.2%
--- Severe drought: 55.5%
--- Extreme drought: 36.3%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Lauderdale County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 46.4%
--- Severe drought: 17.3%
--- Extreme drought: 36.3%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Fayette County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 44.3%
--- Extreme drought: 55.7%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Limestone County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 12.1%
--- Severe drought: 29.0%
--- Extreme drought: 58.9%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
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Lamar County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.3%
--- Severe drought: 32.0%
--- Extreme drought: 67.7%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

This story features data reporting and writing by Emma Rubin and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 31 states.

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