It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve heard from NC State Climatologist Ryan Boyles on the drought monitor. Over those two weeks, there’s been a marked improvement in the Carolina’s and Virginia:
“Well, certainly things have gotten better, and it’s not because of a single storm or a even a single week, we’ve been in a wet pattern, or a wetter pattern for several weeks now, and we’re starting to see some improvements especially in western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and western Virginia. It’s hard to know if this is a long term pattern that we’re likely to continue to see frequent rainfall, certainly it’s what we’re hoping for, not only for our water resources, but also for a successful growing season. Really, it’s getting to the time of year where more than a few days out we don’t have a clue as to what’s going to happen, and it’s like that every year. But, we’re pleased, that for the most part streams are back up near normal range through most of the state, reservoirs, for the most part are doing very well. We’re still seeing a few ground water wells that are a bit too low, and we’re seeing some streams down in the southern Piedmont and in the Sandhills that are still a bit low for this time of year, and it’s causing some concern.”
Boyles says that the rainy pattern that we’ve been seeing the past few weeks should continue, at least for another few days:
“Right now the outlook for the next week or so suggests that we could have a fairly stormy period, at least for the next couple of days, and then out beyond that it’s kind of hard to tell. But, as long as we continue to have frequent rainfall, not necessarily heavy rainfall coming through, then we should be able to weather anything to come.”
While most of the Carolina’s is out of the D-1 drought designation, Boyles says there’s still areas of the state that they’re watching closely:
”There’s a few locations in North Carolina that still have some impacts and we still have some areas that are a bit unusually dry especially in the Coastal Plain and the far eastern part of the state, coastal counties, areas that we’re still keeping an eye on, and certainly we could slip back into seeing drought impacts. And in the absence of any real impacts, it’s just dry weather. We move into drought when we start to see those impacts, and I think right now we’re coming into the time of year where we start to look at the ag impacts just as heavily as we do the water supplies.”
As to the strong lines of tornado producing thunderstorms that have been moving through of late, Boyles had these thoughts:
“Well, this is severe weather season, this is the time of year when we tend to have these strong thunderstorms can produce those strong tornados. The outbreak that we had across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia on the 16th, that’s very unusual for us to have not only the strength of the storms coming through but the number of tornados that touched down. Very unusual for this part of the country.”
NC State Climatologist Ryan Boyles.
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