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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 #11-8          DNR News 803-667-0696
June 17, 2011

Drought Response Committee upgrades 26 counties to moderate drought status

South Carolina Drought Map for June 17, 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:

Members of the S.C. Drought Response Committee, meeting via tele-conference on June 17, upgraded Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties to moderate drought status. The remaining counties maintain incipient status. The moderate drought declaration is followed by increasing levels of severity to severe and extreme status.

Hope Mizzell, S.C. State Climatologist stated, "The decision to upgrade was primarily driven by the dry weather impact on agriculture and increased wildlife activity. Rainfall amounts and coverage have been well below normal since May 1 for the areas upgraded combined with above normal temperature (see table below). For areas maintained at the incipient level rainfall totals have been closer to normal. A few locations have even received much above normal rainfall since May 1, but they are isolated (such as Ft. Mill 13.73" or 248% of normal)."

Rainfall Totals and Percent of Normal Summary: May 1, 2011 to June 16, 2011

StationRainfall TotalsPercent of Normal
Charleston1.63"24%
Florence1.59"29%
Barnwell2.63"42%
Marion2.75"44%
Walterboro3.10"46%
Chesterfield3.37"62%

David Tompkins with the S.C. Department of Agriculture reported, "Agriculture in virtually every area of South Carolina is in need of rainfall. The lack of rain, coupled with high temperatures, is impacting crop production. Also being affected are pastures and hay production. Adequate rainfall is essential to agricultural production. Irrigation systems supplement natural rainfall, but do not make up for severe deficits. The next few weeks are critical to farmers and we are hopeful that rainfall will be adequate."

Darryl Jones with the S.C. Forestry Commission reported, "We already hit our five year average in the first two weeks for the month of June as far as wildfires. It's also been very hot and that has taken a toll on our firefighters, causing a lot of fatigue and raising safety concerns. A lot of the fires are requiring we keep personnel on scene for an extended period because it's burning in the ground and threatens to escape, so it is taking a lot of effort to fully mop them up. We're also getting reports of survival problems with seedlings planted this past winter and we would expect that to increase if the dry conditions continue."

The good news is that most water systems are reporting adequate storage at this time according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The purpose of the moderate declaration is to increase awareness that drought conditions are intensifying. Water systems are asked to review their Drought Response Plans and Ordinances and implement as needed. The committee also hopes that the drought status increase will bring attention to the increased wildfire activity and will encourage the public to be cautious with any outdoor burning activity. The best way to fight wildfires is to prevent them! The committee will reconvene in a month or sooner if needed to reevaluate the drought conditions.

Contact South Carolina State Climatologist Dr.Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568, or (803) 530-5793, 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
Moderate
ALLENDALE
Moderate
ANDERSON
Incipient
BAMBERG
Moderate
BARNWELL
Moderate
BEAUFORT
Moderate
BERKELEY
Moderate
CALHOUN
Moderate
CHARLESTON
Moderate
CHEROKEE
Incipient
CHESTER
Incipient
CHESTERFIELD
Moderate
CLARENDON
Moderate
COLLETON
Moderate
DARLINGTON
Moderate
DILLON
Moderate
DORCHESTER
Moderate
EDGEFIELD
Moderate
FAIRFIELD
Incipient
FLORENCE
Moderate
GEORGETOWN
Moderate
GREENVILLE
Incipient
GREENWOOD
Incipient
HAMPTON
Moderate
HORRY
Moderate
JASPER
Moderate
KERSHAW
Incipient
LANCASTER
Incipient
LAURENS
Incipient
LEE
Moderate
LEXINGTON
Incipient
MARION
Moderate
MARLBORO
Moderate
MCCORMICK
Incipient
NEWBERRY
Incipient
OCONEE
Incipient
ORANGEBURG
Moderate
PICKENS
Incipient
RICHLAND
Incipient
SALUDA
Incipient
SPARTANBURG
Incipient
SUMTER
Incipient
UNION
Incipient
WILLIAMSBURG
Moderate
YORK
Incipient


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, June 17, 2011
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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