Quick Links

Weekly & Annual Weather Report

Request Data

South Carolina Temperature and Precipitation Trends 1901-2005

NEW

South Carolina Temperature and Precipitation Trends 1901-2010

South Carolina Drought Pictures

NEW

2011 South Carolina Drought Pictures

Site Map

Download latest FREE Adobe® Reader®

Download latest FREE Java™

Tornado picture Hugo picture Beach picture Snow picture Summer picture
South Carolina State Climatology Office
Welcome Navigation Contact Information E-mail Us

South Carolina Current Drought Status

State Climate Office                 803-734-9100
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE #09-12          DNR News 803-734-3815
September 2, 2009

INCIPIENT DROUGHT STATUS DECLARED FOR 22 SC COUNTIES

South Carolina Drought Map for September 2, 2009

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 return to a pattern of much below normal rainfall over the past two months led the S. C. Department of Natural Resources to issue an incipient drought declaration for 22 counties. The state agency members of the Drought Response Committee voted electronically on Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009, to upgrade to the first level of drought. The incipient drought declaration is the first level of drought followed by moderate, severe and extreme. 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.

"We were optimistic in early June that maybe we would finally get an extended break from the drought, but only two months have passed since we removed the drought declaration and here we go again," said Hope Mizzell, S.C. State Climatologist. According to William Schmitz, NOAA-Southeast Regional Climate Center, "Greenville-Spartanburg recorded their fourth driest July and August on record since 1893, receiving only 2.99 inches. Mizzell says the short-term forecast is not encouraging with little relief expected over the next week. She also reminds everyone that October and November are usually the driest months climatologically.

"Not everywhere in South Carolina is dry," said Wes Tyler, Service Climatologist for the S.C. State Climatology Office. "Enhanced precipitation along coastal counties, attributed to sea breeze convection, resulted in much above normal rainfall totals during July and August. Charleston Airport reported 140% of normal rainfall (18.30 inches) since July 1 while the Piedmont and higher elevations had limited convective activity resulting in rainfalls of 40% of normal or less. Without the rainfall contributions of tropical weather events, South Carolina's summer rainfall coverage is dependent on the scattered nature of afternoon thunderstorms. "

"We have certainly not reached the dire conditions experienced during the past few years, but everyone needs to be aware of the situation and industries and water systems should review their drought plans," encouraged Ken Rentiers, Chairman of the S.C. Drought Response Committee and Deputy Director for the DNR Land, Water and Conservation Division.

David Tompkins with the S.C. Department of Agriculture remains cautious, "Most of the major crop production areas in South Carolina received timely rainfall that provided for good crop production. Certain areas, particularly in the Piedmont, did not. In these Piedmont areas, crops were stressed and grazing lands suffered due to dry conditions." Dry conditions in July and August were particularly hard in the Piedmont, but Tompkins hopes for adequate rainfall this fall so pastures will be in good condition going into the winter months. He also noted some ponds need to be replenished in these areas.

David Baize with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reports no water systems with any supply problems at this time.

DNR will convene the full drought response committee in the next few weeks if conditions continue to deteriorate.

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" at: www.dnr.sc.gov/green/index.html.

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.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people. Find out more about DNR at the DNR Web site.

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


Return to top

Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, September 2, 2009
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency

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

State Climatology Office Welcome ¦ Contact Info ¦  Site Map
Columbia, SC 29202