After some improvement over the spring the drought has worsened across Eastern North Carolina during the past few weeks.
Moderate drought conditions now exist over much of Eastern North Carolina while severe conditions are now inching into the coastal plain along and west of Interstate 95. An area of extreme to exceptional drought is now increasing over the western portion of the state with no major relief in sight. Some showers and thunderstorms are expected over the upcoming July 4th weekend but certainly won't be enough to put a major dent in the drought. Some forecasters have suggested that a tropical system may be needed for a total saturation of the soil. It would certainly be welcome news for firefighters in northeastern North Carolina who have been fighting a major wildfire for several weeks. Nearly a quarter of average rainfall across the Southeast is caused by tropical disturbances or storms. It may indeed by an active year for tropical weather but at this point there is no way to determine just where those storms will dump their rainfall.