BLOG: Dry streak continues as several SC counties added to Burni - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Dry streak continues as several SC counties added to Burning Ban

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Wildfires continue to burn across the western part of the Carolinas, and the drought continues to worsen. The new Drought Monitor update that came out Thursday shows all levels of drought have expanded by about 2-5%. 

That's no surprise, as we still haven't seen any rain since Matthew came through on October 8.

Friday marked day 34 without rain in Charlotte. Currently, this is the 4th longest dry streak on record in the city. The longest dry spell on record is at 40 days, and if we don't see any rain Sunday night into Monday (our next small chance) we have a very real shot at breaking that dry streak.

Currently, Charlotte is only in the lowest stage of Drought (considered Abnormally Dry) with the moderate, severe, and extreme drought holding farther to the west. These are also the areas under a Burning Ban until further notice. And also new as of Thursday, several South Carolina counties have been added to the Ban, including York and Chester counties.

Some of the smoke from the fires made its way into the Charlotte area early on Friday morning. The wind Friday had more of a west component to it which helped bring the smoke in our direction. In addition, an inversion set up early on in the morning, which is the name given to a temperature profile that increases with height. When this happens, air near the surface (or in this case, smoke) gets trapped beneath the inversion, intensifying the effects.

Fortunately, an inversion is not in the forecast for Friday night. In addition, winds on Saturday are going to have more of an East component to them, which should blow the smoke in the opposite direction. Because of these factors, we do not foresee Air Quality issues early on Saturday morning like we did Friday, which is great news for Charlotte marathon runners!

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