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Carolinas in Decent Shape regarding Precipitation Going into Spring

The mid-Atlantic region went into winter this year with no guidance as to precipitation due to the sudden collapse of El Nino in the equatorial Pacific late last summer. Dr. Ryan Boyles, NC State Climatologist says after a dry spell in late 2012, the first six weeks of this year have seen some nice precipitation:

“Rainfall over the past several weeks has been quite beneficial and plentiful, especially in the western part of the state where they have had more than they can handle. Still a little dry across south central and eastern parts of the state, but we are not seeing a lot of impact in terms of soil moisture.”

Until the most recent drought monitor, the Coastal Plain had been drought free, but this last update showed abnormally dry conditions had overtaken that region:

“They have been dry. We don’t really see a lot of drought in the area, but it is an area that has been dry. They haven’t had nearly the rainfall that the western part of the state has. And while there aren’t any concerns about drought right now, it is an area that we are starting to watch closely in case drought impacts begin.”

With that being said, Boyles says the still have no guidance as to precipitation in the next three months:

“Based on the long term probability, we are just as likely to be wet or dry for the next three months. The shorter term outlook looks more favorable for precipitation. But beyond the next week it is really up in the air.”

As far as drought recovery in the Midwest, Boyles says even now their precipitation has been hit and miss, and they’re not out of the woods yet:

“Some parts of the Midwest, especially the upper plain have been doing better, but there are still real concerns, especially in the southern plains that they don’t have the adequate moisture that they need. They really look to winter to recharge the moisture in their soil. If they don’t get some substantial moisture in the next few months they will likely have problems again this year.”

NC State Climatologist Dr. Ryan Boyles

To see the current regional drought monitor click here. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.