South Carolina Drought News Release
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Land, Water and Conservation Division
South Carolina Drought Response Program
Department of Natural Resources News (803) 734-4133
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE - October 21, 1999
DROUGHT DOWNGRADED FOR ALL COUNTIES IN S.C.
South Carolina's drought has been downgraded for all counties. The State and Local
Drought Response committees met Thursday, Oct. 21 in Columbia to discuss drought
conditions across the state. The consensus of the group was that recent rains have
been sufficient to relieve drought conditions statewide.
Hope Mizzell, state drought program coordinator, says only a few isolated locations are
still experiencing a 12-14 inch rainfall deficit for the year. However, numerous
locations are more than 9 inches below normal for the year despite the recent
rains. Annual rainfall deficits include: Greenville/Sptbg. -11.6; Walhalla
-12.8; Columbia -14.6; Johnston -11.4; Blackville -5.3; Allendale -7.1; Beaufort
-2.6; Charleston -4.1; Myrtle Beach +11.9.
South Carolina Forestry Commission spokesman Ken Cabe says, "Recent rainfall has
dampened surface fuels enough to reduce immediate wildfire danger. Frequent rain
will be needed throughout the fall and winter
months to keep fire occurrence at manageable levels."
Based on these considerations the committees unanimously voted to remove the drought
declaration from Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Chesterfield,
Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Jasper, Marlboro and Williamsburg
counties. Drought declarations for Dillon, Georgetown, Horry and Marion counties
were lifted in September. The remaining counties in the Midlands and the Upstate
were downgraded to incipient.
However, Dr. Michael Helfert, state climatologist says, "Recent rains may only
provide temporary relief since all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
long-range climate models indicate drought conditions will return by November/December
1999 and possibly persist through March 2000. Decision-makers must consider the
impacts of only receiving 60 percent to 80 percent of normal winter/spring rainfall
through March 2000."
For more information, contact Hope Mizzell, drought coordinator with the S.C.
Department of Natural Resources, at (803) 737-0800 in Columbia.
Find out more about the State Climatology Office at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ or by calling (803) 734-9100.