After getting some relief during July the High Country has returned to abnormally dry status, according to the US Drought Monitor update for August 20, 2015.
At the end of July the southern portion of Watauga and a very small portion of Avery was considered abnormally dry, as Ashe County had fully recovered. With the latest update the upper half of Avery, all of Watauga, and all but the northern portion of Ashe are back to abnormally dry status. Through August 18, Boone had officially recorded 5.27 inches of rain making it the 5th wettest August since 1980.
For the contiguous 48 states, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 29.29 percent of the area in moderate drought or worse, compared with 28.92 percent a week earlier. Drought now affects 91,440,736 people, compared with 89,596,463 a week earlier.
For all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 27.82 percent of the area in moderate drought or worse, compared with 27.52 percent a week earlier. Drought now affects 95,082,091 people, compared with 93,237,819 a week earlier.