Recent Rain Helps Drought, But Still Not Enough

7:57 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC, (WLTX) -- The rain fell across the Midlands on Friday and even though the showers may have dampened the end of the workweek, it is just what we need.

"Certainly the rainfall that we have received since basically the beginning of February, certainly will have a significant impact on the drought and a positive impact on the drought," according to Dr. Hope Mizzell.

Dr. Mizzell is the South Carolina State Climatologist, she says even though the rain has been good news, we still have a long to go to get out of drought status.

Dr. Mizzell said, "The drought we are talking about right now is not the drought that you see when you walk outside and the rain stops and there is a puddle."

"We are calling it a muddy drought, yes it is a muddy drought, but the drought we are focused on recovering from is actually what is below the surface, what you can't see," according to Dr. Mizzell.

About half the Midlands is under moderate drought status, while the other half is in the incipient stage, but that may improve when the drought response committee meets in March.

"We are hopeful we will be able to downgrade the drought in many locations," said Dr. Mizzell.

Even if we continue to see soaking rains and we pull out of this dry spell, Dr. Mizzell says we should still be very careful with our water resources.

"Whether you're in a drought or whether it is a very wet period, we obviously encourage everyone to be good stewards of our water resources."

Since we have had a long-term deficit in rainfall, the showers we saw Friday and the rain we are expecting for Saturday will not only help the drought, it may also help prevent wildfires.

South Carolina's peak wildfire season generally runs from the middle of February through April, with March being the historically worst month for wildfires in the state.

For more information on the current drought conditions, visit the South Carolina State Climatology Office website at: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/Drought/drought_current_info.php

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