Drought conditions remain unchanged for most of the state

Posted April 26, 2012 3:16 p.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2012 6:06 p.m. EDT

— Most counties in North Carolina are currently experiencing either abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions, according to the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council.

Fifty-three counties, mainly in the central and southern parts of the state, are under the moderate drought category, which is the least severe form of drought. Abnormally dry conditions are effecting 35 counties in both the eastern and western regions of the state.

The council met Thursday morning at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh to discuss the dry conditions the state is experiencing and what the state can expect in the coming months.

Due to a dry winter season, both streamflow and groundwater levels are already below normal. These conditions could get worse without above normal rainfall in the coming months, especially when the temperature rises.

The council concluded that the state is not in a crisis situation. North Carolina has dealt with extreme drought in the past, they said, and residents and officials are now better prepared.

If rainfall does not remain consistent, industries such as agriculture and forestry could be negatively impacted. Water supplies could also dwindle in the summer if drought conditions worsen.

In the past six weeks, most of the state has remained at either abnormally dry or moderate levels.

"Even with all the rain we got last weekend there was no change in drought conditions," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said Thursday.

Conditions are not expected to change this weekend either. Scattered showers and storms are possible in the Southern counties on Friday and across the area on Sunday, but will not have a major impact on the dry conditions, Maze said.