Drought conditions improved considerably across eastern North Carolina during late 2008 and the first half of 2009. However, the last month has been rather dry across the area. A normal June rainfall would give the area almost 5 inches of rain. Only about half that amount was received in most communities. By July 1 we should have received about 23 inches of rain. Some areas are close to that amount although the WITN Weather Station has gotten 20.85". Rainfall was generally normal through May but June has seen a significant shift in the weather pattern. In addition, temperatures have warmed considerably and many days show afternoon highs exceeding 90°. The intense sun tends to increase evaporation rates this time of year so most areas need a good 1 to 2 inches a week to keep agricultural interests happy. A few widely scattered storms can be expected during the late week and weekend but widespread rainfall is unlikely. Temperatures will continue to remain on the hot side with highs near 90° or higher through the upcoming July 4 Weekend.