There has been a modest let-up in the blistering heat that gripped South Carolina last month, but the Palmetto State remains thirsty for rain.
How thirsty? We will know soon …
On May 14, the S.C. drought response committee upgraded the status of fourteen counties from normal to “incipient” drought status – the first of four drought levels.
The fourteen impacted counties – Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Hampton, Jasper, Orangeburg and Williamsburg – are all located in the Lowcountry region of the state.
On May 30, however, the U.S. drought monitor upgraded its assessment of the situation, showing parts of thirty-six South Carolina counties experiencing either abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions.
Take a look ..
(Click to view)
Moderate drought is the first of four drought levels recorded by the U.S. drought monitor, which is run under the auspices of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
According to its map, all or part of sixteen South Carolina counties – Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Marion, Orangeburg, and Williamsburg – are experiencing moderate drought conditions.
Will South Carolina’s calculations reflect similarly worsening conditions?
According to its website, the S.C. drought response committee – led by state climatologist Hope Mizzell (below) – will hold a conference call this coming Thursday (June 6, 2019) to “to evaluate the drought status statewide.”
That call will be held at 10:00 a.m. EDT, and we will be sure to bring our readers any new information that may be made available after it concludes.
(Click to view)
South Carolina has experienced severe droughts in years past, but the state had been drought free for roughly a full year prior to last month’s announcement.
Since 2000, the longest drought period in South Carolina lasted 156 weeks -beginning on January 4, 2000 and ending on December 24, 2002. The most intense period of drought occurred during the week of August 20, 2002 where “exceptional drought” conditions – the most severe drought classification – affected 50.7 percent of South Carolina land.
Extreme drought conditions affected broad swaths of the state in 2008 and 2009, as well.
In May of 2018, Mizzell declared the Palmetto State drought-free for the first time since July of 2016.
For more information on recent drought history in South Carolina, click on this interactive link from Drought.gov.
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