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Drought Conditions Return to the High Country & Much of North Carolina

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Last Updated on November 20, 2019 6:03 pm

After June 2019 set a new record for the wettest June on record locally, and on the heels of the calendar year 2018 becoming the all time wettest year locally, the lack of rain over the last several months has now brought back drought conditions for the High Country and much of the state.

In the September 24th drought report by the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council, 45 counties are in moderate drought and 22 counties in the abnormally dry classification.

Most of Watauga County, along with most of the High Country, are in the moderate drought classification but there are sections in the eastern part of the county in abnormally dry status.

Map courtesy North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council.

From September 1st through the 24th Boone has officially recorded .15 inches of rain. Since 1980 that ranks second behind 2005 at .1 for that same time period.

Looking at totals for the summer, August 1st through September 24th recorded 3.46 inches that's the third driest since 1980. Calendar year 1981 recorded 3.19 inches and 1984 tallied 3.06 inches for that same time period.

July 1st through September 24th recorded 8.75 inches marking the fifth driest since 1980 for that same time period.

Year to date, January 1 through September 24th, Boone has recorded 45.24 inches, marking the 12th wettest since 1980

Abnormally dry conditions were first noted for the western sections of Watauga County in the September 10th council report.

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.

For the contiguous 48 states, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 17.37 percent of the area in moderate drought or worse, compared with 14.06 percent a week earlier. Drought now affects 52,818,428 people, compared with 35,819,631 a week earlier.

For all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 16.23 percent of the area in moderate drought or worse, compared with 13.72 percent a week earlier. Drought now affects 53,942,233 people, compared with 36,967,984 a week earlier.

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