Weekend Rains Eliminate Drought in North Carolina Piedmont
In the latest drought monitor released on Thursday by the Drought Mitigation Center, North Carolina’s drought conditions improved significantly with weekend rains state-wide. The area of abnormally dry conditions has been reduced from 41% to 27.24%, the area of moderate drought fell from almost 27% to just under 12.5%, the area of severe drought dropped from 12.41% to just under 3% and the area of extreme drought is now a negligible .01%. As has been the case for almost a year, the area of dryness is concentrated in the western part of the state, having receded from east to west and is now concentrated in the North Carolina mountains. The Piedmont and the Coastal Plain are drought free.
Less than one-third of South Carolina Now in Drought
In the latest drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center, South Carolina’s drought conditions improved with last weekend’s rains. The area of abnormally dry conditions is down to 28.81% from just under 61%, the area of moderate drought improved slightly from 28.6% to 21.88%, the area of severe drought improved from 18.69% to just over 4% and the area of extreme drought went to zero from just over 4% a week ago. The area of drought is concentrated in the upstate, the midlands, coastal region and low country are now drought free.
Are we in for Another El Nino?
USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey, discusses how atmospheric and ocean conditions could change going into the summer and what that could mean for a possible El Nino.
“It’s always a guessing game among the forecasters to try and figure out these El Nino and La Nina onset events. We have seen a number of false starts and trickery from the ocean and the atmosphere over the last several years. So here we go again, it looks like La Nina is kind’ve winding down as we head through the remainder of the winter. That brings all the guessers back to the forefront trying to figure out what is going to happen beyond this summer. We are going to be in neutral conditions over the next several months as we transition away from La Nina. At this point, the official government voice is indicating that neutral conditions are more likely heading into late 2017. But if you break it down a little further and look at the more than two dozen statistical and dynamical climate models that are looked at when making these long range forecasts. There is only a handful, less than half a dozen out of more than two-dozen total indicating a return to El Nino. At this early stage, I would say that it’s unlikely that we will see El Nino returning by the end of the year. But it is within the realm of possibilities, slightly better than 1/3 odds.”
Perdue Confirmation Hearing Not Set
The Senate Agriculture Committee likely won’t have a hearing on Sonny Perdue’s nomination until mid-to-late February. Reports say it’ll take that long for Perdue’s financial disclosures to be analyzed in case of potential conflicts of interest and to finish an FBI background check.
Mountaire Farms Plans NC Feed Mill
Mountaire Farms plans to build a $44 million feed mill operation that will bring 65 jobs to Scotland County.
The company’s Scotland County operations will employ machine operators, maintenance specialists, drivers, and management personnel.