WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's been a spring full of dry, sunny weather so far. One thing that we haven't seen a lot of is rain.
Did you ever wonder if the Battleship North Carolina really floats in the Cape Fear River? On a day like today, you can see that it doesn't. Except on extremely high tides, it does in fact sit on a bed of mud. The reason you can see it is partly because of our low water levels, a reminder of the dry spring we've had. We've only seen about half the rainfall that we should.
You can already see how dry it's been in the streams, rivers, marshes and lawns across the area, but the numbers back it up as well. So far this year we're four inches behind. That's a 25 percent deficit.
Since March 1 it's worse: nearly half of the rainfall we should have.
So just why have we been so dry? The main reason lies in high pressure. The common weather pattern the past few months has a Bermuda High sitting off our coast. This area of high pressure has worked to deflect storms to our north and west. By the time moisture makes it to our area, there's not much left.
If a dry summer follows a dry spring, it could be trouble.
"Another downside is most soils in New Hanover County are sandy, and most sandy soils just don't hold a lot of water," said Ken Wells at the New Hanover County Arboretum. "We don't have much of a reserve built up. We kind of need these constant rains to kind of keep things a little bit happy."
That means until we see Mother Nature cooperate, you may need to keep your sprinklers running.