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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
September 24, 2015

Committee downgrades drought for coastal counties, optimistic for more with forecast heavy rain

South Carolina Drought Map for September 24, 2015

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, meeting via conference call on Sept. 24, 2015, has downgraded the drought status of the coastal counties of South Carolina. Counties throughout the rest of the state remain in either incipient or moderate status, although the Committee is optimistic for more downgrades with the forecast of heavy rain around the state. The Committee removed the drought status from Charleston County due to recent significant precipitation with some areas of the county receiving over 16.00” inches in the last 60 days. Jasper and Beaufort counties were also downgraded to no drought status due to, for example, Daufuskie Island receiving 23.13 inches since mid-July. Dillon, Marion, Horry, Georgetown, Colleton and Hampton counties were also downgraded from moderate to the first level of drought or incipient.

The following counties remain at moderate: Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell, Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Sumter, Williamsburg and York. Anderson, Abbeville, Cherokee, Edgefield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg and Union counties remain in incipient.

Previously on July 26, the Committee designated all counties to either incipient or moderate status. As rain was once again falling across South Carolina coastal counties, it was an easy decision for the Drought Committee to downgrade the drought status in all coastal counties. There was a longer discussion about the Upstate drought conditions. According to Hope Mizzell, S.C. State Climatologist, "It has been very dry for many areas across the Upstate. However, the Committee was hesitant today to make any major changes due to the potential for heavy rain in the forecast. The rainfall expected over the next few days has the potential to be the largest and most widespread since June 1." The Committee decided to delay upgrading or downgrading the drought status in most counties due to the pending rainfall, but will reevaluate on October 5, 2015. Brad Powers, Blue Ridge Rural Water Company, emphasized, "Much of the Upstate of South Carolina is currently in a moderate drought state, but with the forecast rainfall over the next several days, the Central South Carolina Drought Response Committee feels that leaving the Upstate at incipient, until our next scheduled meeting, is best. If the Upstate fails to receive the forecasted rainfall, I would recommend moving the Upstate part of the Central Drought Area to moderate drought status."

"The forecast for the next week indicates precipitation for the Yadkin-Pee Dee, Catawba-Wateree and Keowee-Toxaway lakes, but without significant rainfall, levels are expected to continuing declining for the foreseeable future and well into the fall," George Galleher, principal engineer with Duke Energy.

Drought Response Committee Chairman Ken Rentiers stated, "With the forecast of rain over the next several days, we are cautiously optimistic drought conditions, for at least some parts of the state, will improve and so the committee is expected to reconvene on October 5.”

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


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, September 24, 2015
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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