CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Nice, soaking rains from Tropical Storm Beryl have helped rid North Carolina of drought conditions for the first time in nearly two years.
There are still areas of North Carolina that are still dry, however. On the North Carolina drought map at right, 36 counties are still experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
Abnormally dry falls short of "drought" classification. The dry conditions are less severe, but still require awareness of water usage in the affected areas.
"Recent rains have improved many streams and groundwater levels," said Donna Jackson, chairwoman of the N. C. Drought Management Advisory Council. "Major reservoirs, including those in the Triangle and Catawba River basin, are full and there is a sufficient water supply available at this time."
The recent rain has relieved the drought to surface water and topsoil, but groundwater supplies are still low in areas. Wells, which help supply many individual and community water needs, are still low.
Ryan Boyles, the North Carolina state climatologist adds that the relationship between the El Nino situation and NC climate is stronger in the winter. There is not a strong relationship between El Nino and the resulting climate of NC during the summer.
As we head into summer, the likelihood of systems bringing good, soaking rains drops off. Most of our rain comes from late afternoon pop-up showers and storms. One possible exception would be a tropical system that makes landfall along the coast.
The last time the state was drought-free was the week of June 29, 2010. South Carolina's drought situation remains much worse, with nearly half the state in at least a moderate drought.
For tips and ways to save water, go to www.savewaternc.org.