The drought that has existed across much of the Southeast for the past few years is finally losing its grip. Periodic showers and thunderstorms have substantially eased drought conditions in eastern North Carolina. The drought has ended but abnormally dry conditions still persist along the southern coast from New Bern south to the border of South Carolina. A moderate drought continues in southwestern North Carolina, including a 50-mile radius around Asheville. Current forecasts suggest normal rainfall through the spring and that should continue to help areas that still need the rain. Just over 10 inches of rain has fallen since the first of the year at the WITN Weather Station. We are still running about 2 inches below normal for the year but about an inch better than last year at the same time. More showers are in the forecast for Friday night and again early next week.