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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 #10-08          DNR News 803-667-0696
July 9, 2010

STATE AGENCY MEMBERS OF DROUGHT RESPONSE COMITTEE UPGRADE ALL STATE COUNTIES TO "INCIPIENT" DROUGHT STATUS

South Carolina Drought Map for July 9, 2010

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:

A pattern of below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures over the past few months led the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to issue an incipient drought declaration statewide. The state agency members of the Drought Response Committee voted electronically on July 9, 2010 to upgrade to the first level of drought. The incipient drought declaration is followed by increasing levels of severity to moderate, severe and extreme status.

During incipient drought, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) activates the Drought Information Center and increases monitoring and notification of the drought status.

According to S.C. State Climatologist Hope Mizzell, the decision to upgrade was driven by the dry weather's impact on agriculture and increased wildfire activity, "After many sites experienced the wettest winter since 1998, we were optimistic that maybe finally we would get an extended break from the drought, but beginning in April the rainfall pattern changed."

Rainfall amounts and coverage have been especially insufficient since June 1 for many areas combined with above normal temperature (see table below). There are a few locations that have received much above normal rainfall since June 1, but they are isolated (such as Florence at 9.29" or 167% of normal and Chester at 6.72" or 120% of normal).

June 1 to July 8, 2010 Rainfall Summary:

StationRainfall TotalPercent
of Normal
Greenville/Spartanburg1.60"31%
Santuck (Union County)0.99"20%
Winnsboro2.74"52%
Greenwood1.35"29%
Loris4.30"64%
Johnston4.40"78%

David Tompkins, S.C. Department of Agriculture, emphasized the dry weather coupled with the high heat is a concern to the farm community. He noted that many of South Carolina's fruits and vegetables are grown under irrigation so consumers should continue to look for locally grown produce in stores. Please contact David Tompkins for questions about the drought impact on agriculture at (803) 734-2506.

Darryl Jones, S.C. Forestry Commission, reported that dry conditions and intense heat have resulted in an increase in wildfire activity across the state, "Since July 1, the Forestry Commission has responded to more than 30 wildfires and we have experienced some control problems because the fuels are getting very dry. If we don't get significant rain, fire behavior will become more extreme throughout the summer." Please contact Darryl Jones for questions about wildfire activity at (803) 896-8800.

According to Mark Malsick, DNR Severe Weather Liaison, the computer models are showing the possibility of limited relief with scattered afternoon and evening rain showers this weekend and again in the middle of next week. Rainfall amounts and coverage are expected to be limited, but a few cells could drop over an inch of rain over a very short period. The rainfall lottery is typical for South Carolina in July.

Find out more about the State Climatology Office.

Contact South Carolina State Climatologist Dr.Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568 or e-mail at mizzellh@dnr.sc.gov for more information.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy overall. Find out why "Life's Better Outdoors".

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
Incipient
CALHOUN
Incipient
CHARLESTON
Incipient
CHEROKEE
Incipient
CHESTER
Incipient
CHESTERFIELD
Incipient
CLARENDON
Incipient
COLLETON
Incipient
DARLINGTON
Incipient
DILLON
Incipient
DORCHESTER
Incipient
EDGEFIELD
Incipient
FAIRFIELD
Incipient
FLORENCE
Incipient
GEORGETOWN
Incipient
GREENVILLE
Incipient
GREENWOOD
Incipient
HAMPTON
Incipient
HORRY
Incipient
JASPER
Incipient
KERSHAW
Incipient
LANCASTER
Incipient
LAURENS
Incipient
LEE
Incipient
LEXINGTON
Incipient
MARION
Incipient
MARLBORO
Incipient
MCCORMICK
Incipient
NEWBERRY
Incipient
OCONEE
Incipient
ORANGEBURG
Incipient
PICKENS
Incipient
RICHLAND
Incipient
SALUDA
Incipient
SPARTANBURG
Incipient
SUMTER
Incipient
UNION
Incipient
WILLIAMSBURG
Incipient
YORK
Incipient


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, July 9, 2010
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency