North Carolina News: Annual state drought council meeting set for April 4

RALEIGH, NC (STL.News) – The N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council will discuss the state’s record rainfall this year and the outlook for the coming months at its annual meeting on April 4.

WHAT: N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council annual meeting

WHEN: April 4, 10 a.m. – noon

WHERE: Gov. James G. Martin Building, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Currently, only Columbus County is listed as abnormally dry. Abnormally dry is not a drought category.  Rather, it is a descriptor of less severe dry conditions, which still requires heightened awareness by water users in the affected counties.  The last time any part of the state experienced drought conditions was May of last year.  To see the current drought map, go to www.ncdrought.org.

“In 2018, North Carolina experienced its wettest year on record with a statewide average precipitation of 72.9 inches,” said Corey Davis with the N.C. State Climate Office.  “The previous record was 2003, which had an average precipitation of 64.5 inches.”

The council will discuss conditions in North Carolina as it relates to streams, rivers, lakes, agriculture and wildfire activity, and will also provide North Carolina’s short-term climate outlook.  The council is made up of experts on drought, climate, water and forest resources, geology, agriculture and water conservation.

This is the first in-person meeting for the council in 2019.  The council is required by Session Law 2008-143 to meet at least once in each calendar year in order to maintain appropriate agency readiness and participation.  Members of the drought council conduct a conference call each week, during periods when dry conditions are seen in the state, to discuss the impact of rainfall and provide recommendations for the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The U.S. Drought Monitor uses the council’s advice to generate a map depicting areas experiencing drought, abnormally dry and normal conditions. The drought map is released every Thursday and posted to the state’s official drought website at www.ncdrought.org.

If you have questions about the meeting, please contact Klaus Albertin, chairman of the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council, at (919) 707-9035, or [email protected].