Polk County no longer ‘abnormally dry’ after recent rainfall

Published 2:07 pm Friday, September 25, 2009

The Tryon Water Plant, which records rain totals for the National Weather Service, measured 8.81 inches of rain for the month as of yesterday. That lifts the area to a total of nearly 49 inches of rain for the year, slightly above&bsp; average.

With more than three months remaining in the year, the area already has exceeded the annual rainfall totals for 2008 (47.72) and 2007 (42.56).

Although the area is back to normal rainfall totals, precipitation has been very inconsistent so far this year as weather has alternated between dry and wet periods.

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February was the driest month so far with just 1.72 inches of precipitation, and was followed by the wettest month so far in March with 8.93 inches. May brought more wet weather and a total of 7.72 inches, but the weather turned dry again in the summer with just 2.08 inches in July.

Since then the weather pattern shifted again, bringing steady rainfall that erased any risk of drought for at least the time being. September has been much wetter this year than in each of the past two years. Just 3.38 inches fell in 2008 and 2.74 inches fell in 2007.

While Western North Carolina has faced flooding in some areas due to heavy rain in the past week, dry conditions have not disappeared in the eastern part of the state. A total of 27 counties are experiencing &dquo;moderate&dquo; drought, while 31 are &dquo;abnormally dry.&dquo;

Upstate South Carolina did benefit from recent storms and also has been removed from the list of &dquo;abnormally dry&dquo; areas. Much of the eastern part of South Carolina is experiencing dry or drought conditions.