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Drought Creeps Eastward From NC Mountains

U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina Map as of June 21, 2016.
North Carolin a Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina Map as of June 21, 2016.

Summer has brought moderate-to-severe drought conditions to 14 counties in the southwest corner of the state.

The area usually sees about an inch of rain per week, but not so this year, according to State Climatologist Rebecca Ward.

"A lot of those places have not been seeing that consistently," Ward said. "When you go a month and...each week you've seen less than that, that just starts to accumulate."

The Drought Management Advisory Council's map shows abnormally dry conditions creeping into the Triad and Charlotte.

"We're a pretty water-rich state, and so even though we are in a drought, we're still likely to see rainfall," said Ward, who recommends residents be aware of their water usage and conserve where possible.

"If you're a homeowner and you're going to water your garden plants, maybe just be aware of doing it in the evenings or in the early mornings, she said. "Don't do it in the heat of the day."

Copyright 2016 North Carolina Public Radio

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.