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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Current Drought Status

State Climate Office                 803-734-9100
NEWS RELEASE          DNR News 803-734-3815
June 13, 2008

S.C. Drought Response Committee Meeting, June 30, 2008

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will convene the South Carolina Drought Response Committee on Monday, June 30, 2008, at 10:00 AM. The meeting will be held at the Ramage Conference Center, 1001 Bluff Road, State Farmers Market in Columbia.

The purpose of the drought meeting is to evaluate the drought status statewide. The committee will review climatic data, streamflow and lake level data, and drought impacts. Local response to the on-going drought will also be reviewed to determine if additional actions are needed to insure sustainable water supplies. The S.C. Drought Response Committee maintained the drought status at "severe" for 12 South Carolina counties ranging from the Upstate to the upper Savannah River basin. Fourteen counties were downgraded to moderate while 20 were lowered to incipient on April 17, 2008.

If you have any questions, please contact me, 803-734-9568 or email at mizzellh@dnr.sc.gov.

'SEVERE' DROUGHT STATUS MAINTAINED FOR 12 COUNTIES.

South Carolina Drought Status by County.

For previously issued drought statements see the archived status reports.

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

The S.C. Drought Response Committee met April 16, 2008, in Columbia and decided to maintain the drought status at "severe" for 12 South Carolina counties ranging from the Upstate to the upper central region of the state. Fourteen counties were downgraded to moderate while 20 were lowered to incipient. Since September 2007, the drought status was at "severe" for all South Carolina counties except Jasper and Beaufort. The committee is concerned that the public believes that recent rainfall over the past 60 days has completely alleviated the drought. These rain events, however, have not been enough to ameliorate the drought impacts on some streamflows, ground water, and reservoirs. The counties that remain in the severe category are Abbeville, Anderson, Chester, Cherokee, Greenville, Lancaster, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union, and York.

The counties downgraded to moderate drought include Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenwood, Hampton, Kershaw, McCormick, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Saluda.Twenty other counties throughout the state were lowered to incipient drought status.

Many streamflows throughout the state, such as the Edisto and Waccamaw, while not at normal levels have improved and are not in drought, while other rivers such as the Saluda are at the moderate drought level said Masaaki Kiuchi, SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Hydrology Section. Several reservoirs have shown remarkable improvement, notably Lakes Marion and Moultrie, but they still remain 0.7' below normal. Groundwater in the Upstate varies from recovered to very low with the Coastal Plain in recovery.

Darryl Jones, with the SC Forestry Commission, said they are mostly concerned with the ongoing dry conditions in the Upstate or mountain region since moisture content inside larger fuels (i.e., downed logs) remains very low. He considers the rest of the state under control for forest fire. Jones stated drought conditions over the last year resulted in 2,800 fires and 17,000 acres burned, which exceeded their 10 year average for wildlfires.Jim Witkowski, International Paper and the Industry Representative from the Central Drought Management Area, said, "We do want to emphasize that drought is a long-term condition. Our actions were based on those effects and we shouldn't react to the short-term rainfall levels."

Steve de Kozlowski, Interim DNR Land, Water and Conservation Deputy Director, "The public sees the rainfall we've had over the last few weeks and wants to know why we are still in a drought. While many parts of the state have received above normal rainfall, many areas have not. Lakes such as Hartwell and Jocassee are still well below normal heading into the summer months. In addition, while we have observed some improvement in groundwater levels the recovery is slow." The committee will meet again in June to determine the drought status going into hotter summer months when rainfall is expected to decrease.

The S.C. Drought Response Committee commended water systems that have taken action to conserve water and encouraged all systems to continue the message of water conservation. 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 www.dnr.sc.gov. Please contact Hope Mizzell, SC State Climatologist, if you have additional questions, 803-734-9568 or cell: 803-466-0814.

Drought Status Table

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


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, June 13, 2008
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency
Warren Harris - Town of Salem
Marion Rizer - CS&WCD
Leonard Vaughan - National Weather Service
Elberwane - DCW&SA
Darryl Jones - SC Forestry Commission
Dean Moss - BJWSA
Bill Taylor - Town of Cheraw
Dennis Chastain - Pickens
Bill Payne - SRS
John Westcott - SWS
Woody Yonts - NC DIV Water Resources
Oscar P. Black - Dorchester County Water Authority
Scott D. Hollard - Duke Energy Hydro
Paul Conrads - VSGS
Chuck Gorman - SCDHEC
David Tompkins - SCD of AJ
Nick Stegall - City of Rock Hill
George Gallaher - Duke Energy
Jim Witkowsky - IP
Bill Strond - FT. Mill
Mitch Turner - SJWD Water District
Steve Hammond

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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