CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The latest drought monitor for North and South Carolina was released Thursday morning… and as you might imagine the drought situation across the region has only gotten worse.
I'll go over the numbers in just a bit… but first let's look at the various stages of drought. And then we'll look at our current situation.
There are five levels on the drought scale.
D0… is abnormally dry
D1… is Moderate Drought
D2… is Severe Drought
D3… is Extreme Drought
D4… is Exceptional Drought
Right now Charlotte and much of the surrounding area have climbed into the D2 or Severe Drought category. Last week Charlotte Metro was listed under the D1 category and we have had no significant rainfall in the last seven days.
Over the last week, the percentage of NC seeing severe drought has climbed to 5.17% of the state… up from 2.03% the previous week. In SC the numbers are even more drastic. 23.48% of SC is now seeing severe drought conditions… up from just 0.03% the week before.
Statewide across the Carolinas the drought numbers are growing. This week looking at drought totals D0 to D4, 59.77% of NC is experiencing some fashion of drought and a whopping 92.84% of SC is suffering a certain degree of drought.
Long story short, it's been a hot and dry summer. For Charlotte, from January through August 6th, we have recorded 18.66" of rain. The thirty year average through this date is 25.26" of rain… meaning we're running a deficit of six-point-six inches of rain.
Things could certainly be worse… and the good news is that there are at least rain chances in the forecast over the next seven days.
These rains aren't apt to be drought busters… but they may help us put a little dent in our deficits. And truth be told, it would probably take some sort of system with a tropical connection to actually bust the drought. That's certainly something to keep in mind as we head into the peak of the Hurricane Season.
Click here to see the Regional Drought Monitor.