Most of southeastern NC now in moderate drought


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As record-high temperatures and dry conditions continue across the region, southeastern North Carolina is now in a moderate drought. That’s according to the latest information from the US Drought Monitor of North Carolina released this morning.

All of Brunswick and New Hanover County, most of Pender, about half of Columbus and the southeast corner of Bladen County are in the moderate drought area on the newest map. The area stretches up the coast through Onslow County and up to Pamlico County. A broader area labeled as abnormally dry stretches from western Columbus County to the Virginia state line.

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Impacts from moderate drought conditions include some damage to crops and pastures, some water shortages developing and voluntary requests of water-use restrictions.

No drought advisories have been issues in the state, according to the NC Drought Management Advisory Council, but water providers in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties began asking customers this week to conserve water as demand approaches their supply of water.

For the third time in four days, the National Weather Service reported a record high temperature yesterday at Wilmington International Airport, as the mercury hit 101. Before this week, Wilmington had never reached 100 degrees earlier than June 1, but the Port City has done it twice this week. A record high of 100 on Sunday now marks the earliest 100-degree report in Wilmington’s history.

The continued dry conditions are taking a toll on area farmers in various ways, including impacts to crops and livestock.

Some limited relief could be on the way, though. The WWAY StormTrack3 Weather Team forecasts one more day of possible record-setting heat today before temperatures start to recede to more normal levels with some rain chances this weekend.