After being classified in the “severe drought” status, the High Country has seen some improvement for the first time in a month. Ashe, Avery and Watauga are in the moderate drought status for the first time since November 8, according to the latest report from the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council.
18 counties are in the abnormally dry status, 24 in moderate drought, 9 in severe drought, 6 in extreme drought and 0 in exceptional drought.
Much of the sudden relief, for the area, has arrived in just the last 10 days. November 28-30 recorded 3.55 inches in Boone, while 2.03 inches fell from December 1 through December 6. By comparison from August 31 until November 27th, a three month span, only 5.78 inches had officially been recorded for Boone.
Drought categories are based on streamflow, groundwater levels, the amount of water stored in reservoirs, soil moisture, the time of year and other relevant factors for assessing the extent and severity of dry conditions.
Drought map December 6, 2016 from the North Carolina Drought Management Council and USDA