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Drought eases in some areas of North Carolina, worsens in others

Drought eases in some areas of North Carolina, worsens in others

Drought eases in some areas of North Carolina, worsens in others

From SamWalkerOBXNews.com

Some beneficial rain fell in parts of northeastern North Carolina over the past week, but other sections of the region and the rest of the state continue to dry out after the driest June on record.

The North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council has expanded its statewide drought classifications and introduced the severe drought classification, or D2, for 10 counties.

DMAC classified Beaufort, Bertie, Columbus, Craven, Greene, Martin, Pamlico, Pitt, Stokes and Wayne counties as being in severe drought (classification D2) in the latest drought advisory issued Wednesday.

In addition, DMAC expanded the moderate drought (D1 classification) to 69 counties across the state. Another 21 counties were classified as abnormally dry.

The latest ratings mean 99.98% of the state is now in drought or experiencing abnormally dry conditions.

All of Currituck and Camden counties, along with parts of Dare, Pasquotank and Gates counties returned to the abnormally dry weather classification.

Washington County Extension says scattered rains last week may have come too late to save some corn, especially on sandier soils, according to the North Carolina State Weather Office.

“This is only the second time in the past decade that dry conditions have covered the entire state,” said Klaus Albertin, president of DMAC.

“However, the occurrence during the growing season has made the impacts much worse than the 2021 drought period,” Albertin said. “Agriculture is expected to suffer significant damage to corn, tobacco and soybean crops.”

“River flows are in the lower 10th percentile across much of central and eastern North Carolina. Groundwater levels are also steadily declining,” Albertin said.

Groundwater and surface water reservoirs generally experience increased water demand during the summer, and persistent dry conditions could result in water restrictions.

For counties in the D2 classification, DMAC strongly encourages counties to consider implementing drought response actions, including implementing Water Scarcity Response Plans, if not already enacted; participating in regional water resources coordination; and eliminating non-essential water uses, among other recommendations.

These can be found on the DMAC website.

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.

The DMAC drought map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The DMAC is a collaboration of drought experts from several government agencies in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, and is organized by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources (DWR). DMAC members meet weekly and submit their recommendations on drought conditions to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center to update the U.S. Drought Monitor (i.e., drought map), a map of the nation’s drought conditions.

To view the North Carolina drought map, visit www.ncdrought.org. To view the U.S. drought map, visit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.