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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 19, 1998 Drought Status Report

Although widespread showers helped to relieve the dry conditions across most of the State this past week, some areas still need additional precipitation. Several locations received rainfall in excess of five inches this past weekend while others reported less than a quarter of an inch. Indices by which drought is measured show that 15% of South Carolina continues to experience moderate drought conditions with 40% of the state in the mild drought category as of August 15, 1998. The South Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service reported that soil moisture ended last week at 8% very short, 24% short, 65% adequate, and 3% surplus.

The widespread showers have alleviated the moderate drought conditions for most counties except those in the west central and parts of the southern region where rainfall has remained limited (see Rainfall Summary Table below). Therefore, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has downgraded the moderate declaration to an incipient drought for all counties except Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Edgefield, Hampton, Jasper, Orangeburg, and Saluda. The moderate drought declaration remains in effect for these counties. The four levels of drought severity and respective responses as defined by the South Carolina Drought Response Act of 1985 are:

Despite the varying levels of drought severity, water supplies across the State are stable. Streamflows and lake elevations reflect the rainfall conditions with low streamflows in the west central and southern portions of the state. Streamflows in the drier areas are less than 25% of the average August historical flow. River flow will continue to decrease without precipitation. Low flows impact fish and wildlife, water withdrawals, and water quality.

The SCDNR's Land, Water & Conservation Division will continue to monitor and assess drought-related variables such as temperature, precipitation, streamflow, ground-water levels, reservoir levels, soil moisture, and public water supplies. The department will publish the appropriate notices in the affected areas. Mayors, county administrators, public service districts and local water suppliers are asked to keep their drought ordinances activated. Integrated drought information is available on the DNR's

State Climatology Office Internet Web Site

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: MIKE HELFERT OR HOPE MIZZELL IN COLUMBIA AT (803) 737-0800.

South Carolina Preliminary Precipitation Summary

July 20 - August 19, 1998

Station Name            % of Normal Rainfall
Aiken                   61%
Edisto Island           52%
Anderson                68%
Florence                95%
Beaufort                61%
Greenville-Spartanburg  93%
Bishopville             143%
Hampton                 53%
Blackville              40%
Johnston                86%
Caesars Head            67%
Kingstree               78%
Camden                  188%
Loris                   147%
Cades                   70%
Myrtle Beach            132%
Calhoun Falls           132%
Saluda                  59%
Cedar Creek             125%
Pelion                  86%
Charleston              107%
St. George              54%
Cheraw                  163%
Sumter                  123%
Chester                 131%
Orangeburg              35%
Clark Hill              55%
Union                   126%
Columbia                73%
Walhalla                72%
Conway                  148%
Walterboro              70%
Dillon                  146%
Ware Shoals             96%
Edgefield               60%
West Pelzer             66%

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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