North Carolina’s Drought Conditions Increase

The latest drought monitor released Thursday by the Drought Mitigation Center for conditions through Tuesday morning, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions increased slightly from 83.28% of the state to 83.33%, the area of the state experiencing moderate drought increased from 33.7% to 34.04%, and the area of the state in severe drought increased from 2.33% to 3.72%.  The Coastal Plain, the southwestern tip and the northwestern tip of the state remain drought free.

Only the Low Country Remains Drought Free

South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions increased slightly this week as reported in the weekly drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center on Thursday for conditions through Tuesday morning.  The area of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions increased from 91.61% to 92.18%, the area of the state experiencing moderate drought increased from 63.98% to 65.93%, and the area of the state in severe drought increased from 26.73% to 33.49%.  Three small areas of the state including the coast and low country remain drought free.

Study Shows Popular Herbicide Shows No Long-Term Impact on Aquatic Plant Life

A Baylor University Study concludes atrazine does not appear to have long-term, measurable impacts on aquatic plant life.  Atrazine, a common herbicide used to control weeds in corn and sorghum crops, had caused “level of concern,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The study’s lead investigator, Ryan King, said this research is the first to address atrazine levels as they would “naturally occur in agricultural areas during rainfall runoff events.” In an artificial stream facility designed to analyze runoff, King said the researchers found that atrazine had only temporary effects on more than a dozen different biological response variables. However, the vast majority of those variables had recovered after the dosing ceased.

Current El Nino Upgraded to ‘Unusually Strong’ Status

Federal forecasters upgraded this year’s El Nino to an unusual strong status, but said it’s probably not a record breaker or drought buster.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the federal Climate Prediction Center, said the current worldwide weather shifting event doesn’t match the monster El Nino of 1997-1998, nor is it likely to.

With even warmer waters in the central Pacific in August, the hottest in more than 17 years, the prediction center moved the El Nino up from moderate status. So far the El Nino is the third strongest on record, behind 1997-98 and a weird one in 1987-88 that peaked early.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.