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SC Drought Spreads




A dangerous drought continued to creep eastward across South Carolina this month – with at least four Palmetto State counties now experiencing “extreme drought” conditions.

According to data compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, parts of Abbeville, Anderson, McCormick and Oconee counties registered in the “D3” or “extreme drought” category.

That’s the center’s second-most severe drought classification.

Meanwhile an additional six South Carolina counties – Greenville, Greenwood, Edgefield, Pickens, Saluda and Spartanburg – were experiencing “D2” or “severe” drought conditions.

All told, sixteen of the Palmetto State’s forty-six counties are now experiencing some level of drought – with “moderate” drought readings now stretching all the way into the Midlands region of the state (including the capital city of Columbia, S.C.).

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

drought sc july 26

(Map via U.S. Drought Monitor)

As we’ve previously noted, hot and dry weather is expected to continue 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 shifting weather patterns impact the trajectory of the jet stream – which impacts the amount of moisture certain parts of the country receive.

“We’re looking at the initial phases of a drought that could last into late August,” one climate official said earlier this month, citing “a large-scale pattern that is flirting with a La Nina event in the Pacific, which tends to make the Southeast drier and hotter for potentially long stretches.”

Obviously we will continue to keep a close eye on these readings in the days and weeks to come …

(Banner via Clemson)