close
close
The drought is worsening and 75% of North Carolina is now in a moderate or severe drought

The drought is worsening and 75% of North Carolina is now in a moderate or severe drought

The drought is worsening and 75% of North Carolina is now in a moderate or severe drought

The drought in North Carolina has worsened and 99.98% of the state is currently in drought or experiencing abnormally dry conditions.

Beaufort, Bertie, Columbus, Craven, Greene, Martin, Pamlico, Pitt, Stokes and Wayne counties are currently in a severe drought (D2 classification), according to the latest drought advisory issued Wednesday. Additionally, 69 counties statewide are now in a moderate drought (D1 classification). Another 21 counties were classified as abnormally dry.

“This is only the second time in the last decade that dry conditions have covered the entire state,” said Klaus Albertin, chairman of the Drought Management Advisory Council (DMAC).

WRAL meteorologists said 75% of North Carolina is now in drought.

According to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center, this has been the driest June on record in many locations. It is also the driest June on record statewide, according to the North Carolina State Climate Office.

Friday is a WRAL weather alert day due to extreme temperatures. Wake, Durham and surrounding counties are under an excessive heat warning from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and could experience a heat index of up to 110 degrees. In the eastern half of the state, most other areas are under a heat advisory from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., meaning it could feel like 105 degrees or higher.

“Agriculture is expected to experience significant damage to corn, tobacco and soybean crops,” Albertin said. “River flows are in the lower 10th percentile across much of central and eastern North Carolina. Groundwater levels are also steadily declining.”

Groundwater and surface water reservoirs typically have increased water demand during the summer, and current dry conditions could result in water restrictions. For counties experiencing severe drought, officials recommend implementing drought response measures, including implementing water shortage response plans.

Authorities recommend conserving water during this period.

You can reduce your water consumption by following these tips:

  • Limit the use of washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Minimize the use of toilets.
  • Limit watering your lawn only when the grass shows signs of wilting and apply water as slowly as possible.
  • Limit watering of shrubs to a minimum by reusing household water whenever possible.
  • Keep car washing to a minimum. Use a hose with a nozzle to control the flow of water and minimize waste.
  • Limit washing outdoor areas such as sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
  • Limit the operating hours of water-cooled air conditioners, if possible.
  • Use disposable plates and utensils, both for residential and commercial use.