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December 9, 2009

Drought officially over for all SC counties

The drought is officially over for all South Carolina counties after the State agency members of the S.C. Drought Response Committee removed the incipient declaration for 9 counties on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Much of the state including the counties that were still in drought received 150% to 300% of normal rainfall over the past 30 to 60 days. According to Hope Mizzell, S.C. State Climatologist, the wet pattern this fall (September – November) was just what was needed to saturate the ground and jump start refilling and recharging our lakes and groundwater. Some areas of the state such as Walhalla reported the wettest fall on record receiving 27.65" which is 14.8" above normal.

The wet pattern is expected to continue based on NOAA's long-range projections. According to Mark Malsick, S.C. State Climatology Office Severe Weather Liaison, "The current El Nino pattern has established an active, productive storm track over the southern US that will continue to deliver rainfall events to South Carolina every 4-5 days. This southerly track allows storms to tap into abundant warm moist Gulf of Mexico air. This warm moist air increases the chances for State-wide precipitation, and also intensifies the passing storms, which ensures even more rainfall per storm. The long range computer models continue to advertise this wet early winter trend through January."

Find out more about the State Climatology Office.

Contact South Carolina State Climatologist Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568 or e-mail at mizzellh@dnr.sc.gov for more information.

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