MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In its weekly update, the US Drought Monitor has now added “severe” drought to parts of South Carolina.
Thursday’s update from the US Drought Monitor now states that 88% of SC is categorized as “abnormally dry.” That is an increase from 67% of the state in last week’s update.
The area of “moderate drought” has also expanded to now cover all of Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties and has moved into southern Florence and Marion Counties as well as much of the southern portions of the state. The area of moderate drought increased from 28% last week to 49% this week. Moderate drought can lead to some damage to crops, and pastures. Streams, reservoirs, or wells start to run low, and the development of some water shortages.
The latest update also now includes “severe drought” that has developed across much of the SC Lowcountry including Charleston. 16% of the state is now considered to be in severe drought. Severe drought can lead to significant crop or pasture losses, water shortages and sometimes water restrictions.
A much more active weather pattern looks to deliver rain to much of the region through the weekend. Rainfall totals of one to three inches are likely across the drought areas. While those amounts are beneficial, more rain over a longer time frame will be needed to reverse the drought conditions. The latest outlook from the US Drought Monitor indicates a chance that drought conditions may persist.
The Drought Monitor has been a team effort since its inception in 1999, produced jointly by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NDMC hosts the web site of the drought monitor and the associated data, and provides the map and data to NOAA, USDA and other agencies. It is freely available at droughtmonitor.unl.edu.