Rowan not in drought, but abnormally dry

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2012

Below normal rainfall and record-breaking temperatures have pushed some North Carolina counties back into drought for the first time in more than a month.
While Rowan County is not in drought, all but the northwestern corner of the county is abnormally dry, according to the latest conditions reported by the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council.
Rowan is one of 35 counties considered abnormally dry.
Conditions in 17 counties, including Mecklenburg and Wake, grew worse this week as moderate drought returned to parts of central and southwestern North Carolina.
It’s the first time since May 29 that any counties have experienced moderate drought, which is the least serious of the four drought categories.
“We’re seeing impacts to stream flows, inflows into reservoirs and low groundwater levels, but we are not seeing widespread impacts to public water supplies,” Donna Jackson, chairwoman of the Drought Management Advisory Council, said in a press release. “At this point, we want people to be prepared to take the appropriate actions to save water should conditions worsen during the coming months.”
A technical advisory group of the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council in early June announced the state was drought-free for the first time in almost a year. Thursday’s federal drought map shows that in addition to the 17 counties experiencing a moderate drought, 35 others are abnormally dry because drought conditions could return without adequate rainfall. The drought map can be seen at
The drought categories from least serious to most serious are moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional.
The introduction of moderate drought conditions in the 17 North Carolina counties is based on the lack of adequate rainfall, which contributes to below normal stream flows, low flows into reservoirs and below normal groundwater levels.