Thu Aug 21 18:32:18 PDT 2008
The Drought That Won't End
Most of Eastern North Carolina remains in a moderate drought as we head into late summer.
Some showers have fallen across Eastern North Carolina this summer but not nearly as much as we need. Reviewing the records indicates that we are running at about 9 inches below normal at the WITN weather station this year. The year ended in 2007 with a deficit of nearly 20 inches. I've been around long enough to know that droughts in the Southeast can end quickly with just one or two doses of rainfall from a tropical storm or hurricane. Rainfall for 1999 was running well below normal before Dennis arrived two times, first in late August and again during Labor Day Weekend. Most of us remember what happened less than two weeks later when Hurricane Floyd arrived. Some areas of Eastern North Carolina received as much as 30 inches of rain from the two storms within two weeks, causing catastrophic flooding along our rivers. Florida just found out what a slow moving tropical storm can do in a couple of days, with several locations getting over 20 inches of rain. We'll know by the end of October whether it will happen to us this year.