August rainfall helps, but problems persist in western NC

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – While August rainfall has eased drought conditions in western North Carolina, hot and dry weather has already taken its toll on agriculture and could linger into fall.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that a North Carolina Drought Management Advisory report says Buncombe County has been in a drought since April. The weekly report also says Buncombe and surrounding counties have ranged between three categories – abnormally dry, moderate drought and severe drought.

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The dry conditions came as climate scientists recorded July being the hottest month on record in Asheville, with a monthly average temperature was 78.9 degrees, 4.2 degrees above normal.

State Climatologist Rebecca Ward says the regional drought has browned grass, lowered hay yields, left some creek beds dry and caused tulip and yellow poplar trees to lose leaves.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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