Drought officially happening now in nearly half of central North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Almost half of our area is now officially in a drought.

According to The North Carolina State Climate Office, moderate drought conditions have now spread across the entire I-95 corridor and all the way back into the Sandhills.

Most of this area is around 4 inches behind where it should be as far as rainfall totals to date.



To anyone who's been watching rainfall totals since March 1, this may not come as much of a surprise. So far, the Raleigh area's springtime rainfall total is just 4.93 inches. That's almost 5.5 inches below our typical spring.



There could be an isolated shower Thursday evening and scattered storms Friday into the weekend.

In the Sandhills, it's not much better. Though it's not your driest spring on record, you are still at just 5.37 inches of total rainfall since March 1. That's more than three inches behind where you should be.

Sadly, there's not a lot of relief in sight. Looking at the 7-day rainfall forecast issued by the Weather Prediction Center, we only see the potential for 2 inches or less in our area. Ouch.



Brunswick county, down along the coast, is now calling for voluntary water restrictions and the North Carolina Forest Service has issued a burn ban for 26 counties.

More counties could be added to that list by next week.
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