The South Carolina Climatology Office’s online map shows the entire state in a welcome shade of green, meaning that the entire state is free from drought.
On April 24, the State Drought Response Committee for the first time in three years declared the entire state drought-free. State Climatologist Hope Mizzell says the rainfall over the first few days of May accompanied by the unseasonably cool temperatures have helped the state recover from the drought conditions of the past few years.
“I know many people didn’t enjoy the rainy weekend, but we still needed the rain to complete recharge our lakes, our ground water before we head into the summer months.” Mizzell said the rainfall over the past few days has been significant in many areas of the state. “Since the drought was downgraded on April 24, we have numerous sites that have received over three inches (of rain), and a few sites that have received as much as nine inches just since April 24.”
Mizzell says significant rainfall has occurred over the past week in one of the areas that was hit hardest by drought conditions over the past few years, the Upstate.
“Taylors had 9.15 inches of rain since April 24. A lot of these areas were in northern Greenville and northern Spartanburg county. One of the areas we are continuing to keep a close eye on is the Upper Savannah River Basin because while out of drought, those lakes have not completely recovered.”
Mizzell says unseasonably cool highs in the first few days of May are also helping recharge the groundwater and lake and stream levels.
“The minimum temperatures have not actually been that far off from normal, but it’s just those afternoon highs that have been so unspeakably cool and those have been some of the coldest (on record) based on maximum temperatures (for early May).”