N.C. is drought-free

Posted June 7, 2012 10:37 a.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2012 6:08 a.m. EDT

— For the first time in almost two years, no North Carolina county is experiencing drought conditions, officials said Thursday. There are still 36 counties considered "abnormally dry," according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, which updates conditions weekly in a color-coded map.

The last time North Carolina was completely drought-free was June 29, 2010.

Tropical Storm Beryl effectively snuffed out the last of the drought conditions in the Tar Heel State, WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said.

"While Beryl brought some rain to the Triangle, areas to our south and east, where the drought conditions were more serious, saw more copious amounts of rain from that storm," Johnson said.

In evaluating drought conditions, experts consider more than just rainfall. The variables include crop moisture, stream flow data, river and lake levels and other factors.

“Major reservoirs, including those in the Triangle and Catawba River basin, are full and there is a sufficient water supply available at this time,” said Donna Jackson, chairwoman of the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council.

Most of the state is at or near normal rainfall amounts for the year. Raleigh has seen 17.77 inches of rain, about 0.68 inch less than normal.