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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Current Drought Status

State Climate Office                 803-734-9100
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE 11-03          DNR News 803-667-0696
February 3, 2011

Drought Response Committee maintains status, long term forecast indicates potential ongoing drought

South Carolina Drought Map for February 3, 2011

For previously issued drought statements see the archived status reports.

Table of all counties and drought status.
Drought Response Committee Meeting Sign-In sheet.

Discussion:

With anticipation of heavy rain on the way, the Drought Response Committee voted on Feb. 3 to maintain the first level of drought for 37 counties. The information conveyed by the long term indicators shows the potential for ongoing drought despite recent rain activity.

Marlboro, Dillon, Marion, Florence, Horry, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Berkeley, and Charleston counties continue with no drought status. The incipient drought declaration is followed by increasing levels of severity to moderate, severe and extreme status.

Hope Mizzell, S.C State Climatologist stated, "Some people may question why we are talking about drought since it appears winter has been very cold with normal rainfall. In reality, while we have had clouds, snow and rain, the actual amount of precipitation received has been much lower than average for the majority of the state. Most sites in the Pee Dee region have received less than 3.5" since December 1 which is only 40 percent of what they normally receive. Places like Walhalla recorded closer to normal rainfall, but are still reporting a deficit."

Rainfall Totals and Percent of Normal Summary: Dec. 1, 2010 to Feb. 2, 2011

StationRainfall TotalsPercent of Normal
Cheraw2.98"38%
Winnsboro3.28"39"
Florence3.14"40%
Johnston3.57"40%
Sumter3.57"42%
Columbia3.55"43%
Laurens4.25"46%
Gaffney4.47"50%
Orangeburg4.19"50%
Greenwood4.82"53%
McColl3.59"54%
Spartanburg5.36"56%
Ware Shoals4.85"56%
Chester4.74"56%
Saluda5.19"58%
Charleston AFB4.74"63%
Anderson7.33"73%
Pickens8.27"77%
Newberry8.19"91%

Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director, Land, Water, and Conservation Division emphasized, "Winter is our recharge season. During winter when demand and evaporation are low we depend on the rains to recharge our surface and groundwater."

Darryl Jones, S.C. Forestry Commission, reported that dry winter conditions resulted in increased wildfire activity across the state, "In January, the Forestry Commission responded to 247 wildfires across the state that burned more than 1,000 acres. That's a lot more fires than we normally see in January and indicates that our wildfire season is starting a little early this year. We encourage the public to be extremely careful if they choose to conduct outdoor burning and to make sure they follow all of the applicable state laws. This includes notifying the Forestry Commission before you burn, having adequate firebreaks and equipment in place to keep the fire under control and staying with the fire until it is completely safe." Please contact Darryl Jones for questions about wildfire activity at (803) 896-8800.

During incipient drought, DNR activates the Drought Information Center and increases monitoring and notification of the drought status.

Drought Status Table

Current Drought Status by County
Normal Incipient Moderate Severe Extreme
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
ABBEVILLE
Incipient
AIKEN
Incipient
ALLENDALE
Incipient
ANDERSON
Incipient
BAMBERG
Incipient
BARNWELL
Incipient
BEAUFORT
Incipient
BERKELEY
Normal
CALHOUN
Incipient
CHARLESTON
Normal
CHEROKEE
Incipient
CHESTER
Incipient
CHESTERFIELD
Incipient
CLARENDON
Incipient
COLLETON
Incipient
DARLINGTON
Incipient
DILLON
Normal
DORCHESTER
Incipient
EDGEFIELD
Incipient
FAIRFIELD
Incipient
FLORENCE
Normal
GEORGETOWN
Normal
GREENVILLE
Incipient
GREENWOOD
Incipient
HAMPTON
Incipient
HORRY
Normal
JASPER
Incipient
KERSHAW
Incipient
LANCASTER
Incipient
LAURENS
Incipient
LEE
Incipient
LEXINGTON
Incipient
MARION
Normal
MARLBORO
Normal
MCCORMICK
Incipient
NEWBERRY
Incipient
OCONEE
Incipient
ORANGEBURG
Incipient
PICKENS
Incipient
RICHLAND
Incipient
SALUDA
Incipient
SPARTANBURG
Incipient
SUMTER
Incipient
UNION
Incipient
WILLIAMSBURG
Normal
YORK
Incipient


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, February 3, 2011
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency
David Baize - DHEC
Dean Moss - BJWSA
Vernon Osteen - SRNS
Elbert Warren - DCWSA
Eric Odom - Orangeburg DPU
Jimmy Bagley - City of Rock Hill
Jon Sherer - City of Columbia
Mitch Turner - SJWD Water District
Warren Harris - Salem Water
Bobby Brock - Marlboro Water Co.
Pickens Williams Jr. - Barnwell County
Ed Saxon - BJWSA
Scott Willet - Anderson Regional Water
John Shelton - USGS
Steve Hammond - Duke Energy
Gregory Lamberty - NWS Columbia
Francis Tubilino - SCEMD
Darryl Jones - SC Forestry Commission
Mike Hancock - Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority
Brenda Nettles - Barnwell
Ken Rentiers - SC DNR LWC
Doug Young - Chickasaw Point POA
Hope Mizzell - SC DNR LWC

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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