Local News

Weekend Rain Does Little To Help Drought

Posted July 15, 2002

— Parts of the Triangle received some much-needed rain over the weekend, but not nearly enough to lift water restrictions or to help fill local lakes that are going dry.

The recent rainfall has left lawns lush and green, and flowering plants in full bloom. When it comes to relieving the drought, it has not even scratched the surface.

"It doesn't take much rain to get the flowers and lawns back to looking good. We've had just enough to see them recover, but the water supply problems, the deep well problems, not even a dent," said Steve Harned, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Harned said that the Triangle is getting average rainfall for July. It is an improvement over previous months, but it will not put a dent in the drought.

"Every little hundredth of an inch that's registered on that rain gauge has been very welcome," said John Van Pelt who tracks rainfall for the Storm Study weather project.

Van Pelt recorded one-third of an inch of rain in Raleigh Sunday, but he knows many towns have not had any measurable rain.

"These storms have popped up, so parts of Wake County have got nothing, been totally bone dry, while other parts are inundated. When we got the worst of the rain, it was over an inch and a half here," he said.

That is not nearly enough to allow the lakes, creeks and streams to catch up. In fact, the best bet for ending the drought could pose other serious problems.

"Unfortunately, the quickest way to catch up is with torrential rain from a tropical system, and of course a tropical system brings baggage with it that we don't want to have to fool with," Harned said.


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