We have heard a lot about the drought across North Carolina and the Southeast over the past two years. Most of us have noticed that conditions are not as dry this year and that observation is correct. For example, as of October 22 the WITN Weather Station has received 32.86" of rain for the year. Last year on October 22 the total amount was only 27.09" or almost six inches less than this year. However, the normal amount of rainfall by this date is 41.25". The bottom line is that we are still running below our long-term average by slightly over seven inches.
We've seen several episodes of rainfall over the past several weeks and we are in much better shape than last year at the same time. The current weather pattern and long-range forecasts suggest that near normal rainfall can be expected as we move into the winter season. I think many of us would agree it would be nice to enter the next growing season with sufficient soil moisture to take us through next summer without a drought. I'll plan to give a monthly update throughout the year.