Wetter weather across eastern North Carolina has improved soil moisture conditions over the past few months. Much of our area has returned to near normal conditions. Areas along and just west of Interstate 95 are still in abnormally dry conditions. The driest area extends from near Fayetteville to just east of Charlotte. In those areas moderate drought conditions still exist, although it covers only about 15% of the state. At the same time last year nearly 46% of state was covered in the moderate drought category. Rainfall is expected to be near normal for the remainder of October with normal or slight above normal rainfall during the winter months. It is expected that normal soil moisture conditions will return to all of the state by the end of winter.