North Carolina had its driest year on record in 2007. In Wilmington, it was the third driest year, with just less than 33.5 inches of rainfall. Luckily, this year has been much wetter. Wilmington finished off 2007 almost two feet below normal in rainfall, which caused 2008 to get off to a very dry start. Southeastern North Carolina was classified as being in an extreme drought. By the time February rolled around, we had gotten enough rain that we were only a moderate drought. During the spring, and into the summer, rain from thunderstorms slowly added to the rainfall totals. Tropical storm Hanna also brought some beneficial rain to the area. Rainfall amounts ranged from 1.5 inches to over 5 inches across our area. Now that summer is drawing to a close, we are technically out of the drought and are just considered to be abnormally dry. But how is the rest of the state fairing? The Triangle is also now out of the drought and considered to be abnormally dry thanks to rain from Hanna and this week's cold front. More good news for that area is that Falls and Jordan Lakes measured above normal for the first time in about a year. Meanwhile, in the far western quarter of the state, 19 counties are still in extreme drought. Drought conditions are forecast to ease up across that part of the state as moisture from tropical systems and other weather systems are expected. And here in southeastern North Carolina, we are hoping that the wet weather keeps coming this fall and winter. Even though the drought is officially over for Wilmington now, it's important that we conserve water.
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