FIRST ALERT: Drought conditions worsen to “severe drought” in the area
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor has now added a “severe drought” to our area in the latest update.
The new addition for the severe drought now adds all of our counties under the new category due to lack of soil moisture, low streamflow values in the area, combined with warm temperatures and general lack of rainfall in the area. Areas not under a severe drought still remain in the moderate drought category.
It’s important to note that this week’s drought monitor does not include our recent rainfall. This map is based off all data up until Tuesday. We should see this week’s rain reflected in next week’s map.
Roughly 21% of South Carolina is now in the severe drought category. Roughly 35% of South Carolina is now in the moderate drought category. An additional 72% is categorized as abnormally dry.
In North Carolina, 7% of the state is now in a severe drought including part of Robeson and Scotland County. 54 % of the state is now in a moderate drought and 82 % of the state is abnormally dry.
Despite the record setting rains and flooding of January and February, the dry spring caused the drought issues we are seeing now. We had the 3rd driest spring on record in Myrtle Beach and the 3rd driest spring in Florence.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, some of the potential impacts from the severe drought conditions include fire increases, low rivers and lakes, fisheries and cattle impacted, closure to some boat ramps and some saltwater intrusion. Moderate drought conditions include, reduced peach sizes; non-irrigated corn can show stress, and the wildfire risk increases.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are in drought. The map uses five classifications: abnormally dry - showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional.
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