Weather

Drought intensifies in western N.C.

Posted May 29, 2008

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— While much of eastern North Carolina has pulled out of the historic drought that has gripped the state for the past year, conditions in the western part of the state are worsening, according to a new state report.

Twenty-eight counties, stretching from Charlotte to the Yadkin Valley, are experiencing extreme drought conditions, compared with 15 counties a week ago, the state Drought Management Advisory Council said in a report issued Thursday.

Another 18 counties in the western half of the state are in severe drought, the report said.

“Rain has been plentiful in the eastern part of the state, but parts of the Piedmont and western North Carolina have received only half their normal rainfall,” Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. “We learned a lot about conserving water during the past year, and we need to continue working together to make sure we have adequate water resources today and in the future.”

Most of the Triangle remains classified as "abnormally dry," although most of Chatham County, all of Lee County, western Harnett County and extreme southwestern Wake County are in a moderate drought.

During a drought council meeting Thursday, state climatologists said weather forecast models are uncertain about rain for the near future, meaning the state could face another hot, dry summer.

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  • tarheel1980 May 29, 2008

    You are correct flashlight, but the water being dumped over the dam is now well in excess of the normal flow down the Neuse. It is truly being wasted, not conserved. There is no shortage of ocean water. (Isn't that what Algore has been telling us?)

  • flashlight May 29, 2008

    The water is used by municipalities downstream, then it goes to the ocean.

  • oldschooltarheel May 29, 2008

    Precisely cherokee. Continued rampant growth is going to keep dropping the aquifers. Unfortunately for Gulf Coast folks, what we need is several Gulf storms to sweep up through Northern GA, western NC/VA & eastern TN. It will take more than just one or two to do it.

  • tarheel1980 May 29, 2008

    One clarification for amlebede, we have already reached the point where the lakes are full. If fact they are overflowing. Falls Lake has been over a foot higher than normal.

    The Corps of Engineers is dumping over 550 million gallons a day of water to the ocean to try and get the level down to 251.50 feet (normal). We still have water restrictions in Raleigh, but they are not there for conservation anymore. It is no more wasteful for someone use water than it is for it to be dumped in the ocean.

  • cherokee43v6 May 29, 2008

    It's not the recent rains that are the measure. It's the level of the ground water.

    To restore those levels will take an extended period of extraordinary wetness.

    Basically, all the recent rains have done is fill the lakes and allow us to hold even.

  • Jeremiah May 29, 2008

    "I just don't believe these drought reports anymore. We've gotten the most rain in years (in recent months) and we're still abnormally dry?? I don't buy it..just another way for government to control us"

    yep, all a government conspiracy. haha

  • mrtwinturbo May 29, 2008

    So everyone that has a bottle of water should send it to them?

  • amlebede May 29, 2008

    It was pretty rainy the last few weeks. If the trend continues, the water levels in Jordan Lake and Falls Lake should begin to come back to normal and the water restrictions will be lifted. I do not think we are going to run out of water soon in Orange, Durham, nor in Wake County.

  • Dolphan May 29, 2008

    I just don't believe these drought reports anymore. We've gotten the most rain in years (in recent months) and we're still abnormally dry?? I don't buy it..just another way for government to control us

  • THE ETERNAL May 29, 2008

    It is abnormally WET in Alamance County.