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                
NEWS RELEASE          DNR News 803-667-0696
March 9, 2012

South Carolina Drought Response Committee maintains drought status statewide

South Carolina Drought Map for March 9, 2012

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:

Six Upstate counties (Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Abbeville, McCormick and Edgefield) will stay in severe drought and the remaining counties in moderate drought after the SC Drought Response Committee met in Columbia, March 8, to review long-term drought impacts and conditions leading into spring.

"While coverage and rainfall amounts in March have increased, there was not enough improvement in the drought indicators to support a stage upgrade," explained Ken Rentiers, Drought Committee Chairman and SCDNR Deputy Director for Land, Water, and Conservation. "The committee will reconvene in one month to reevaluate." Overall December-February's rainfall was below normal statewide with the driest conditions from the midlands to the coast.

For the climatological winter, December 1-February 29, 2012:

Hope Mizzell, SC State Climatologist, reported, "Fortunately for the many areas that were dry earlier this winter, the pattern seems to have changed over the past 3 weeks with many sites reporting 150% of normal rainfall. The opposite is true for the Upstate. Portions of the Upstate experienced wet conditions in December-January, but over the last 3 weeks rainfall totals are less than 30% of normal."

Scott Harder, Hydrologist, SC Department of Natural Resources reported, "We depend on winter rainfall to recharge our surface and groundwater supplies when evaporation rates are low. While recent rains have helped, we haven't received as much recharge as we would like at this point in the year. We have a few more weeks before residential water demand and evaporation rates will increase significantly. Depending on the rainfall pattern over these few weeks, some of the major lakes and even smaller ponds that are below normal may not refill this spring."

Marion Rizer, Southern Drought Management Area Committee Representative, stressed, "That from the agricultural perspective it really matters how much rainfall we receive from now throughout the growing season, but because of the dry winter, farmers that irrigate are concerned about water availability since many of their farm irrigation ponds are so low."

Dennis Chastain, West Drought Management Area Committee Representative, commented, "The upper portion of the Savannah River Basin received some really good rain throughout early winter, but the beneficial effects are fading and long-term trends indicate the drought will continue."

The Savannah Basin Lakes are in Drought trigger level 2 according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Drought Contingency Plan. Based on projections, lake levels will remain in trigger level 2 over the next 10 weeks. Lake Hartwell and Lake Thurmond are 6.5 feet below their target guide curves for this time of year and Lake Jocassee is 21 ft. below it's guide curve.

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


Return to top

Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, March 9, 2012
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