The High Country continued to feel the impact of the ongoing drought as 2016 came to a close. Ashe, Avery and Watauga remained in the moderate drought status for the fourth week in row, and under any classification for the 16th week in a row as the year ended.
28 counties were 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 drought relief for the High Country arrived in the 17 days between November 28 through December 13.
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 27, 2016 from the North Carolina Drought Management Council and USDA