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S.C. Drought Conditions Creep

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PALMETTO UPSTATE NEEDS RAIN … 

Nine months after record rainfall inundated the Palmetto State (with deadly consequences), several South Carolina counties are experiencing severe drought conditions.

According to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, parts of five Upstate South Carolina counties are currently experiencing “severe” drought conditions.

Parts of Abbeville, Anderson, McCormick, Oconee and Pickens counties currently fall under the “D2” designation – which is the middle band on the national drought table.

Moderate drought conditions exist in parts of several other counties – including Greenville and Greenwood counties.

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

drought monitor

(Pic provided)

Obviously we will be keeping a close eye on these conditions as the brutal Deep South heat begins to bear down on the Palmetto State over the next few months.

Dry weather is expected across the south over the coming months as a record-setting El Niño event draws to a close.

El Niño is the periodic warming of the central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean.  La Niña refers to the cooling of the Pacific that takes place in its aftermath.

The strongest El Niño on record wrapped up last month, and forecasters believe a weak to moderate La Niña will develop this fall.

(To view recent records of these weather events, click here).

What does all of this mean for South Carolina?  Well, we’re likely looking at a hot, dry summer – one extending deeper into the fall months than usual.

“La Niña puts emphasis on the northern jet stream while weakening the southern jet stream, keeping moisture in the northern tier of the country,” noted AccuWeather’s Katy Galimberti.

Galimberti also cautioned that these shifting global weather trends could play a role in this year’s tropical weather systems.

“A developing weak La Niña will lead to an uptick in tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean through the rest of the peak hurricane season,” she said.

Indeed.  El Niño has kept hurricane activity at bay recently … but that seems likely to change this year.

UPDATE: State drought panel to assess the situation.

UPDATE II: Conditions worsening.

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