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State Climate Office                
NEWS RELEASE #14-187          DNR News 803-667-0696
January 15, 2015

Rainfall relieves drought conditions statewide

South Carolina Drought Map for January 15,2015

Move cursor over the dates below to view a previous drought status map.
Nov 20, 2014 |  Sep 16, 2014 |  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 Jan. 15, removed the incipient drought declaration statewide. According to Hope Mizzell, South Carolina State Climatologist, "Since many counties were just on the cusp of drought when the Committee upgraded in late November it didn’t take excessive rainfall statewide to end the drought. Rainfall totals over the last 30 days (December 15 to January 14) ranged from near normal at places like McClellanville (4.14"), Florence (4.39"), and Sumter (4.25") to much above normal at Hemingway (10.01") and Winnsboro (9.23")."

According to Scott Harder, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Hydrologist, "Streamflow levels across the state have increased significantly over the past two months and most gauging sites are at or above normal levels for this time of year. Reservoir levels in the Savannah basin have improved and are much closer to target levels as compared to levels observed a few months ago. Most other major reservoirs in the state are near or above their target levels as well."

Jones, with SC Forestry Commission reported, "In the last few weeks, rainfall has been frequent enough to keep fine fuel moistures elevated, and the number of wildfires has been low. As we move into February, March, and April, we will begin to see periods of dry weather that are typical this time of year, and we are expecting to have an average wildfire season. Since most of the wildfires in South Carolina are human-caused, we encourage everyone to be careful. Escaped backyard burns lead to about 50% of the wildfires we respond to each year."

The Committee reviewed the drought levels based on various local or regional drought plans such as the US Army Corps of Engineers Drought Contingency Plan and Duke Energy's Low Inflow Protocols. According to Ed Bruce, Duke Energy, "Savannah River reservoir conditions have improved. The US Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs remain in Level 1 with storage just below target. Keowee-Toxaway reservoirs have improved to Stage 0 with storage about 19 percent below normal. There are no drought conditions for the Catawba-Wateree River reservoirs." While the SC Drought Response Committee has downgraded the drought, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Duke's Drought Management Plans remain in effect.

Drought Response Committee Chairman Ken Rentiers stated, "Hopefully the rainfall forecast for normal to above normal rainfall will verify and South Carolina can stay drought-free for awhile."

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
Normal
ALLENDALE
Normal
ANDERSON
Normal
BAMBERG
Normal
BARNWELL
Normal
BEAUFORT
Normal
BERKELEY
Normal
CALHOUN
Normal
CHARLESTON
Normal
CHEROKEE
Normal
CHESTER
Normal
CHESTERFIELD
Normal
CLARENDON
Normal
COLLETON
Normal
DARLINGTON
Normal
DILLON
Normal
DORCHESTER
Normal
EDGEFIELD
Normal
FAIRFIELD
Normal
FLORENCE
Normal
GEORGETOWN
Normal
GREENVILLE
Normal
GREENWOOD
Normal
HAMPTON
Normal
HORRY
Normal
JASPER
Normal
KERSHAW
Normal
LANCASTER
Normal
LAURENS
Normal
LEE
Normal
LEXINGTON
Normal
MARION
Normal
MARLBORO
Normal
MCCORMICK
Normal
NEWBERRY
Normal
OCONEE
Normal
ORANGEBURG
Normal
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, January 15, 2015
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