Dry conditions reappear across central N.C.

Posted April 29, 2010 10:40 a.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2010 11:19 a.m. EDT

— A lack of rainfall has brought back abnormally dry conditions to parts of central and southeastern North Carolina for the first time in five months, officials said Thursday.

Twenty-six counties, from Orange County in the Triangle through the Sandhills to Brunswick County on the southeast coast, were listed as abnormally dry in the weekly drought map issued by the federal government. Officials said the lack of rain has contributed to below-average stream flows and groundwater levels in the region.

Through Wednesday, the National Weather Service office at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport had recorded 11.09 inches of rain this year, which is about 3 inches below normal.

At this time last year, 12.7 inches of rain had fallen at RDU. The Triangle was listed as having normal conditions then, although much of eastern North Carolina was considered abnormally dry, and several mountain counties were in a moderate drought.

Abnormally dry isn't a drought category, but it indicates that an area could return to drought if rainfall deficits continue, officials said.

No county has experienced such dry conditions since Dec. 1.