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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Drought News Release

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Land, Water and Conservation Division
South Carolina Drought Response Program
Department of Natural Resources News (803) 734-4133

SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE August 13, 1998 Drought Status Report

Indices by which drought is measured show that 56% of South Carolina continues to experience moderate drought conditions with 44% of the state in the mild drought category as of August 11, 1998. If the current atmospheric pattern continues to produce widespread showers, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will lift the moderate drought declaration next week. In such an eventuality, the SCDNR will then downgrade the declaration to an incipient drought.

South Carolinians should be advised that the long range forecast for precipitation by the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service indicates a winter 1998 through spring 1999 dry phase for all of the South, Southeast and Southwest United States.

"The extended seasonal outlook indicates drier-than-normal conditions for the Southwest from September 1998 through May 1999. The outlook also suggests the likelihood that drier-than-normal conditions will expand eastward this winter to encompass Texas, the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Southeast."

This potential dry phase NOAA conditional forecast is based on the appearance of abnormally cold water in the equatorial Pacific, "La Nina". During previous La Ninas drier than normal winters and springs have been documented in our region. The good news is that normally, La Nina winter and spring dry periods are preceded by a wetter than normal late summer and autumns. Such periods have also been associated with a return to normal or above normal frequency of Atlantic Hurricanes.

Find out more about the State Climatology Office at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ or by calling (803) 734-9100.

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