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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Current Drought Status

State Climate Office                
NEWS RELEASE          DNR News 803-667-0696
February 2, 2017

15 counties see improvement in drought statuses

South Carolina Drought Map for February 2, 2017

For previously issued drought statements see the archived status reports.

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

Due to adequate winter rainfall for portions of South Carolina, the S.C. Drought Response Committee has updated the drought statuses of 15 counties

All counties in the northeast region maintained their current statuses of normal (no drought) or incipient. Richland and Lexington counties, located in the central region of the state, were downgraded to normal status, while the rest of the counties in that region maintained their current statuses of moderate or normal. All of the counties in the southern region were downgraded from incipient to normal. McCormick and Abbeville counties, located in the Central Savannah region, maintained moderate status, Edgefield, Aiken and Barnwell counties were downgraded to incipient, and Allendale and below were downgraded to normal status.

“We voted to downgrade the drought for many counties due to increased rainfall over the last 30 to 60 days,” Colleton County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Emeritus Marion Rizer said. “Ironically, we are not able to get into the fields to fertilize small grains and to make preparations for spring planting because soil moisture conditions are too wet in some areas.”

But due to potential fire hazards and lack of moisture, Oconee, Pickens and Anderson counties have remained in severe drought status. According to S.C. Forestry Commission Forest Protection Chief Darryl Jones, the wildfire activity in November was 94 percent higher than the five-year average. The Pinnacle Mountain Fire burned 10,623 acres in Pickens and Greenville counties before it was controlled, and fire costs exceeded $5 million. Recovery work, including firebreaks rehabilitation and clearing of trails, is ongoing.

“As we enter our traditional wildfire season, fine fuels are very dry and wildfire occurrence has been increasing,” Jones stated. “When frontal passages bring low relative humidity and higher winds, we do expect to have periods of high wildfire activity, and we expect it to continue until green-up begins in late April or early May.”

Hydrologic conditions have slightly improved in much of the Upstate over the past two months, but streamflow and lake levels remain well below normal in many areas, with the driest conditions occurring in the upper Saluda and Savannah basins.

The committee will meet again within the next eight weeks unless weather conditions require members to gather sooner.

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


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, February 2, 2017
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.

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