Mild Drought Conditions Persist in Part of State
Streamflows and groundwater recovery levels continue to lag behind for this time of year. The latest drought depiction by the council shows central North Carolina in a moderate drought, and the coastal and mountain regions are experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
Council member Ryan Boyles with the State Climate Office said that even though the recent rain events have been helpful, the state is not out of the woods regarding drought. Despite April showers, precipitation deficits since Jan. 1 range from three to five inches across the state.
While reservoirs in North Carolina are near normal levels, reservoir inflows have quickly receded since the rainfall. Streamflows increased to normal levels following the rains of the past two weeks, but began to drop shortly after the rain stopped. Without additional rainfall, streams are expected to drop to below-normal levels for this time of year.
As a consequence of the dry conditions, there have been more than 4,000 wildfires this year. The N.C. Division of Forest Resources reports that the recent rainfall has mitigated wildfire activity in many areas; however, the state remains in spring fire season.
Everyone planning to conduct any outdoor burning is still urged to use caution. The leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina is debris burning.
The Drought Management Advisory Council encourages water users in areas experiencing drought or dry conditions to adhere to all local water use restrictions.
The council was formed by the General Assembly following the drought of 2002.
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