It was too early to tell last week when we talked with climatologist Corey Davis how much improvement we would see to the drought conditions across North and South Carolina from the rains we got. He’s got a better look at it now. And that’s what I’m going to ask you first, Corey. Some pretty significant rains. How much improvement did we get out of that?
Well, Mike, we have now had a week to digest that Thanksgiving lunch, but also that’s given us a week for those soils and streams and lakes to digest the rain that fell last week. And that the summary really is that the further east you went across coastal North and South Carolina, the more improvements that you had on the drought map this week. That’s mainly because the rainfall totals were a little bit heavier in those areas, generally at or above two inches. So places in eastern North Carolina that had been in moderate drought are generally back to just abnormally dry, even parts of the Eastern Piedmont, like the triangle area. And down in Columbia, South Carolina that had been in moderate or severe drought are now back to just moderate drought. But the further west that we went into the mountains, the rainfall totals were a little bit lighter, they’re less than an inch in some spots, and those areas had been so dry for the fall so far, that it really was just a minimal improvement. So we have seen some decent boosts to some of the stream levels. But even in those western areas, they say really that the creeks the waterfalls are just running it only a little more than a trickle right now.
What does the forecast hold, and is it El Nino?
This certainly looks like the type of system that we tend to see during those El Nino winters. This is a warm front first little bit coming through today and tomorrow, bringing in lots of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic. So we should see those rain showers begin picking up especially later on today. And tonight. The heaviest rains should come tomorrow, but the totals really depend on where you’re at. across South Carolina. Most areas can expect at least an inch to an inch and a half, maybe up to two inches in some spots. The further south you are in North Carolina, the better chance you’ve got of seeing at least an inch of rain, but then places right along the Virginia border may only see a quarter to a half inch from this event. That warm front may not reach far enough north to really bring significant precipitation to those areas but we are looking at a pretty decent chance of rain all through the weekend before it tapers off late on Sunday or early on Monday. Then we’ll have a cold front behind that moving through. that’ll knock our temperatures back from the upper 60s and only into the 50s. So we’re typical for this time of the year but we will have a couple of warmer and wetter days before that cooler air returns.