Thursday, July 19, 2007
Drought Update and a Check on the Tropics
The latest drought monitor was released today, and its not much of a surprise that the moderate drought continues for a large portion of the state. A severe to extreme drought continues in western North Carolina.
Thursday is the day the drought monitor is typically released, but the committee that decides the drought status meets on Tuesday. That means the localized heavy rains from Tuesday night were not considered in this week's drought update. While much of Wake County saw between 2 and 3 inches of rain from strong storms late Tuesday into early Wednesday, those rains were not recorded in other locations. Because of that and the quick runoff of the heavy rains, it wasn't that big of a help in the drought conditions.
That brings up the problem of summertime thunderstorms. With scattered storms during some afternoons, not every locations benefits from the rain. The other problem is the heavy rains move in and out of an area fairly quickly. That doesn't allow for a good soaking rain.
As I've mentioned here before the only solution to break out of drought conditions would be a slow soaking rain that would last for several hours if not all day. This time of year the only way we can usually get a soaking rain like that is from the remnants of a weak tropical system.
The tropics have been quiet so far this month. While we don't anticipate any development over the next few days, the National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical wave over the eastern Caribbean.
Conditions in the eastern Caribbean are not favorable for tropical development at this time. We'll continue to watch this area for you, and remember you can always find the latest on the tropics in our News 14 Carolina Tropical Update at :21 after the hour.
For more on the drought, visit http://www.ncdrought.org/ and for the latest on the tropics, check out the National Hurricane Center's site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.