Local News

65 NC counties now under 'moderate drought'

Posted December 6, 2012

— After a month of mostly dry weather, 65 of North Carolina's 100 counties are now in moderate drought, state officials said Thursday. 

Eleven counties have been added to the moderate drought category since last week, and 16 others are abnormally dry for early December. 

The central part of the state, including the Triad and western parts of the Triangle, are the most impacted areas. Coastal counties, boosted by rainfall from Hurricane Sandy, are not under drought conditions. 

Fall is usually one of the driest seasons, with North Carolina experiencing some form of drought in seven of the last 10 years, officials said. 

"Although we still haven't had any reports of public water supplies being affected, we are seeing impacts to streams, groundwater levels and inflows to reservoirs," Tom Reeder, director of the N.C. Division of Water Resources, said. 

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, total precipitation for November was .56 inches, 2.56 inches below normal and much drier than last year, which featured precipitation just a bit above normal for the month.


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  • luvstoQ Dec 6, 2012

    We live just north of Falls Lake in Wake County and we always register more in our rain gauge than the recorded amounts at RDU. Still other times we will have as much as 1/4-1/2" and RDU will say a trace. There needs to be more areas in the county to record rainfall, then maybe average them???? Our gauge is a large one from a farm supply and quite accurate in an open area.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Dec 6, 2012

    Pray for some rain, and just maybe God will see that you get it in his own time. Have some Faith for a change.

  • fishon Dec 6, 2012

    Save a glass of water, pour a beer.
    Nuff z Nuff

    A draught beer...

  • Screw WrAl Dec 6, 2012

    Good thing NOAA doesn't know what it's talking about based on smaller plots of geographic data. This winter is shaping up to be just like the last, not a drop of precip, no snow within hundreds of miles and temps more like May.

    Most of the time it goes this way on this geo-plot.

    Save a glass of water, pour a beer.

  • charlesboyer Dec 6, 2012

    Good thing that the NOAA long-term forecast shows slightly wetter than normal conditions for eastern NC (with normal precip in the western half of the state) and also that we are in a neutral position relative to El Nino / La Nina, which has a great effect on precipitation here.

  • cad Dec 6, 2012

    The groundwater level is about the same as the drought 5 years ago, we have never totally recovered.

  • baldchip Dec 6, 2012

    I told you guys back in August that we were headed into anothe draught. Several scoffed at the idea.

    I simply watch the small farm ponds in Western JoCo. They will tell the story. When they are receeding, draught is beginning to occur. When they are full, draught monitors are ok!! I realize this is not terribly scientific, but it sure seems to be a good indicator.

    A good 10"-15" snowfall that melted very slowly sure would help this situation. May I ask for after Christmas?? Slow business week-relaxed-kids don't miss school-what a plan-or Christmas wish???

  • anderson Dec 6, 2012

    I WANT SNOW!!!!!!!

  • Fuquayone Dec 6, 2012

    Another amazingly cyclical process. Sometimes we get snow, sometimes we do not. We used to have terrible air quality in the summer, but that has not happened in a few years, but it will again. One thing certain about the weather though, it will rain again. And then remember when we had the worst drought about 5 years ago and could not even wash our cars, that was then cured by a hurricane. We get plenty of water here; dig a bigger reservoir, and this would be a non-story.

  • Hans Dec 6, 2012

    Hasn't rained here in recent memory.