Weather

Weekend rains end drought for parts of region

Posted May 1, 2008

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— Heavy rains last weekend have pulled eastern North Carolina, including parts of the Triangle, out of drought for the first time in more than 10 months, according to a state report issued Thursday.

Thirty-five of North Carolina's 100 counties, including Cumberland, Johnston, Nash, Wilson, Franklin and Vance counties, were listed as being "abnormally dry" in the latest report issued by the state Drought Management Advisory Council.

Wake, Durham and Orange counties were among 21 counties experiencing moderate drought conditions. Twenty-six counties stretching from the Triad through Charlotte and to the western North Carolina mountains were listed as being in severe drought, and a dozen counties west of Charlotte remained in extreme drought.

A slow-moving system that dumped up to 3 inches of rain and spawned some flash floods Sunday helped alleviate the drought conditions across the region.

Almost 4 inches of rain were reported at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in April, which is 1.12 inches above normal, WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. For the year, 13.87 inches of rain has been recorded at RDU, which is 0.45 inches below normal, she said.

"Everything continues to inch westward," Gardner of the lessening in drought conditions. "Hopefully, as we continue to see a wetter pattern, we'll continue to eat away at the drought."

The region has another chance of rain on Sunday, when a front crosses North Carolina, bringing the possibility of showers and thunderstorms, she said.

The last time much of the Triangle wasn't experiencing drought conditions was last June. A hot, dry summer accelerated drought conditions statewide, and much of North Carolina remained in an "exceptional drought," the worst of five categories tracked by the state until early this year.

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  • Nobody but Carolina May 1, 2008

    This may be the other one which is actually a water treatment plant at Lake Benson.

    http://www.raleigh-nc.org/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_418_202_0_43/http%3B/pt03/DIG_Web_Content/news/public/News-PubAff-Water_Treatment_Plant_Co-20080410-10513650.html

  • Nobody but Carolina May 1, 2008

    "Are there really two new reservoirs planned? I thought this was just people talking, but never acting? Where are they and when will they be ready?"

    One is the Little Little River reservoir to be located in northeast Wake County, basically north of Zebulon. Last I heard the project and a possible speeded up completion of 2018. I wish they had started the long process of it 5 or 6 years ago. I can't recall where the other is to be.

  • HopingForABetterWorld May 1, 2008

    Are there really two new reservoirs planned? I thought this was just people talking, but never acting? Where are they and when will they be ready?

  • ncsudan May 1, 2008

    This is good news. And for those who think that long term weather predictions are 100% reliable, then I have a bridge to sell you. Its not that cheap, but the views are great.

    All I can say is that if we continue to develop the two new resevoirs planned, and more after those, keep up sensible water use rules, and Everyone uses water like the lifegiving substance it is, we will be fine.

    But don't forget in times of scarcity, conservation is a good thing. You do not throw gasoline on a fire because it is wet.

  • cadetsfan May 1, 2008

    "I have to schedule our business appts. around the weather by looking at the 7-day forcast. Many times I have been fooled."

    Yes, they're out to get you!

  • smeade1 May 1, 2008

    Radar is a wonderful thing for seeing what's coming your way. However, when I want to know what it's going to do outside, I just look out my window. When it's raining, snowing,sunny etc., I know what the weather is like. I have to schedule our business appts. around the weather by looking at the 7-day forcast. Many times I have been fooled.

  • charlesboyer May 1, 2008

    "That IS funny. Why, then, did the N&O report back in February that "Weather forecasts call for the next three months to remain drier than normal across North Carolina"?"

    Good question. I can't answer that for the N&O, but then again, I will put more faith in NOAA's Climate Prediction Center than anything the Nuisance and Disturber prints.

    NOAA based their prediction on a diminishing La Nina condition in the southern Pacific Ocean eventually trending to a neutral condition. La Nina usually couples with a drought in the SE US, and the severe one from last year was certainly an example.

    Me, I just keep up with the local weather here on WRAL and also on wunderground.com. Or look out the window. ;-)

  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 1, 2008

    "so it was a moderate drought!!! the way folks talked on this website you would think we were living in death valley, typical scare tactics."

    no, it was an extreme drought. it is a moderate drought now.

    technically, at the worst, we were in an extreme meteorologic drought (measured by rainfall) and a moderate hydrologic drought (measured by streamflow and groundwater).

  • jsanders May 1, 2008

    That IS funny. Why, then, did the N&O report back in February that "Weather forecasts call for the next three months to remain drier than normal across North Carolina"?

  • veyor May 1, 2008

    One extreme follows another.

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