State News

Severe drought conditions impact central NC

Posted February 3, 2011 2:22 p.m. EST
Updated February 3, 2011 6:52 p.m. EST

— Nearly half of North Carolina is under a drought, and more than a quarter is under severe drought.

An assessment of drought conditions released Thursday by the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council estimates that 45 percent of the state is experiencing some sort of drought.

Of those, 27 counties in the central part of the state are in severe drought, the second worst level in the four-category system used to measure the drought.

Thirty-eight mountain and eastern counties are abnormally dry, which isn’t a drought category but means drought could emerge without adequate rainfall.

The state has grown increasingly parched over the last month due to a lack of significant rainfall. Despite snow over the past few months, the Triangle, for example, is 2.86 inches below rainfall for the year.

The Drought Council recommends that people who live in areas of severe drought eliminate nonessential uses of water.

“At this point, public water supplies are fine in North Carolina,” Council chairman Woody Yonts said. “But if dry conditions continue to occur, widespread impacts could quickly surface in the next few months as the temperatures begin to gradually increase and the growing season begins.”