FIRST ALERT: Stretch of sunny skies contributing to abnormally dry conditions across the Grand Strand

FIRST ALERT: Stretch of sunny skies contributing to abnormally dry conditions across the Grand Strand
US Drought Monitor for the Carolinas as of Thursday May 3rd, 2018

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While the sunshine has brought us plenty of beach days, the absence of rain keeps us dry.

According to the US Drought Monitor, there is 2 two pockets of "moderate drought," one in southeast Robeson County and another along the South Strand in coastal Georgetown County. Areas in the Lowcountry, especially Charleston and areas south continue to experience "moderate drought" as well.

The US Drought Monitor explains how they receive their data: "Each week, drought experts consider how recent precipitation totals across the country compare to their long-term averages. They check variables including temperatures, soil moisture, water levels in streams and lakes, snow cover, and meltwater runoff. Experts also check whether areas are showing drought impacts such as water shortages and business interruptions."

The most recent significant rain Myrtle Beach saw was 9 days ago on April 24th, when nearly 2 inches of rain was recorded. Florence recorded about a half an inch of rain last Friday April 27th.

The next chance of rain won't amount to much, with just small and spotty showers Sunday evening through early next week.

So far this year, National Weather Service (NWS) records show since March 1st we have recorded 7.07" of rain, which is exactly at normal for meteorological spring so far. For the year, Myrtle Beach has reported 12.78" of rain since January 1st. That is roughly 1.5" below normal for the year at this point.

NWS records for the Pee Dee since the start of meteorological spring March 1st have reported 8.80" of rain, nearly 2.7" above normal. When taken into account for the year so far, we've recorded just under a foot of rain, and are only about half an inch below normal.

Follow the US Drought Monitor here: https://www.drought.gov/drought/states/south-carolina

And keep tabs on when the next round of rain will arrive coming in with the WMBF First Alert Weather app:

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved