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State Climate Office                
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE #14-18          DNR News 803-667-0696
September 16, 2014

South Carolina Drought Committee upgrades drought status for 9 counties

South Carolina Drought Map for September 16, 2014

Move cursor over the dates below to view a previous drought status map.
Apr 24, 2013 |  Jan 31, 2013 |  Dec 11, 2012 |  Sep 27, 2012 |  Jul 19, 2012 |  Jun 6, 2012 | 
Apr 25, 2012 |  Mar 9, 2012 |  Nov 8, 2011 |  Sep 29, 2011 |  Sep 8, 2011 |  Jul 14, 2011 | 
Jun 17, 2011 |  Jun 2, 2011 |  Feb 3, 2011 |  Nov 23, 2010 |  Oct 7, 2010 |  Jul 9, 2010 | 
Dec 9, 2009 |  Oct 16, 2009 |  Sep 24, 2009 |  Sep 2, 2009 |  Jun 10, 2009 |  Apr 15, 2009 | 
Feb 19, 2009 |  Oct 28, 2008 |  Sep 16, 2008 |  Aug 5, 2008 |  Jun 30, 2008 |  Apr 16, 2008 | 
Jan 22, 2008 |  Sep 5, 2007 |  Jun 6, 2007 |  May 8, 2007 |  Feb 23, 2007 |  Sep 20, 2006 | 
Aug 16, 2006 |  Apr 27, 2006 | 
For previously issued drought statements see the archived status reports.

Table of all counties and drought status.
Drought Response Committee Meeting Sign-In sheet.

The S.C. Drought Response Committee, meeting via conference call on Sept. 16, upgraded the drought status to the first level of drought for 9 counties, Edgefield, Aiken, Lexington, Barnwell, Allendale, Bamberg, Orangeburg, Hampton, and Colleton.

This was the first drought declaration issued since April 2013. According to the S.C. State Climatologist, Hope Mizzell, rainfall totals since June 1 have varied across the state from less than 9" to over 34". Aiken's June 1 to Sept. 15 rainfall total of 8.79" was the third driest for that site since 1925 while many coastal sites reported over 30" of rain since June 1. This made decisions for some coastal counties like Colleton difficult. The Committee votes by county and conditions for inland Colleton were much drier than along the coastal areas.

The persistent below normal rainfall and resulting hydrologic impacts in the 9 counties led the SC Drought Response Committee to issue the incipient drought declaration. The incipient drought declaration is followed by increasing levels of severity to moderate, severe and extreme status.

The Edisto and Salkehatchie River Basins have been the driest overall experiencing persistent low streamflow conditions over much of the past two to three months, reported Scott Harder, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Hydrologist. This was the main driver for declaring an incipient drought for counties in these basins.

According to David Baize, Assistant Bureau Chief for the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control's Bureau of Water, there have been no reports of water supply problems statewide. Agricultural representatives on the call reported scattered agricultural impacts due to the drought, but it has been highly variable. Darryl Jones with the S.C. Forestry Commission reported, "Wildfire occurrence has been light this summer, but as the growing season ends and fuels begin to cure, fire activity is likely to increase. In areas where drought is developing, wildfires may be more difficult to control and spread faster as vegetation dries out."

Drought Response Committee Chairman Ken Rentiers stated, "The Committee will continue to monitor the situation closely and if conditions deteriorate. DNR will reconvene the committee as needed.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people. Find out more about DNR at the DNR Web site.

Drought Status Table

Current Drought Status by County
Normal Incipient Moderate Severe Extreme
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
ABBEVILLE
Normal
AIKEN
Incipient
ALLENDALE
Incipient
ANDERSON
Normal
BAMBERG
Incipient
BARNWELL
Incipient
BEAUFORT
Normal
BERKELEY
Normal
CALHOUN
Normal
CHARLESTON
Normal
CHEROKEE
Normal
CHESTER
Normal
CHESTERFIELD
Normal
CLARENDON
Normal
COLLETON
Incipient
DARLINGTON
Normal
DILLON
Normal
DORCHESTER
Normal
EDGEFIELD
Incipient
FAIRFIELD
Normal
FLORENCE
Normal
GEORGETOWN
Normal
GREENVILLE
Normal
GREENWOOD
Normal
HAMPTON
Incipient
HORRY
Normal
JASPER
Normal
KERSHAW
Normal
LANCASTER
Normal
LAURENS
Normal
LEE
Normal
LEXINGTON
Incipient
MARION
Normal
MARLBORO
Normal
MCCORMICK
Normal
NEWBERRY
Normal
OCONEE
Normal
ORANGEBURG
Incipient
PICKENS
Normal
RICHLAND
Normal
SALUDA
Normal
SPARTANBURG
Normal
SUMTER
Normal
UNION
Normal
WILLIAMSBURG
Normal
YORK
Normal


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SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, September 16, 2014
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