CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - By now, we're all quite aware of our drought situation. Most of us in the WBTV viewing area range from "Abnormally Dry" to being in a "Moderate Drought". Three counties – Cleveland, Gaston and part of Lincoln County are in the "Severe Drought" category.
When someone showed me this map, they assumed the bright reds and yellows were showing how the drought was intensifying across the eastern part of the US. That's actually not the case. The video shows all of the rain that has fallen since January.
Why would we be in a drought? It looks like plenty of rain has fallen!
First of all, check out the western US. Talk about drought conditions!
States like California and Nevada are in an "Extreme" to "Exceptional Drought". (Hopefully we won't find out what that's like!) Compare that to the video showing some parts of the country seeing less than a foot of rain for the whole year.
Back to the Carolinas… While is looks like there has been plenty of rain compared to out west, remember first of all, it's all relative.
Second, remember that is total rain for the whole year. We got most of our rain in the winter and early spring. Since then, we've been lucky to get passing thunderstorms.
Here's some hopeful news. Look at Texas on the map and in the video. They've gotten a lot of rain and there are only a few spots where it is "Abnormally Dry". This time last year, most of the state was at least "Abnormally Dry" and some places were even in the "Extreme to "Exceptional Drought" categories.
We'll have to see what the next year holds for us. A tropical system (which can be both a blessing and a curse!) could help us make up our deficit quickly. Or, we could continue to stay dry and go deeper into a drought. Only time will tell… In the meantime, please use water wisely.