North Carolina Drought-free for the First Time Since Aug. 8th

Water splashing in a tube.

North Carolina is now drought-free, according to the latest update from the Drought Management Advisory Council, or DMAC. 

For the first time since Aug. 8, 2023, there are no counties in the state listed in drought status, according to the DMAC. However, all or parts of five western counties were still listed as “abnormally dry:” Cherokee, Clay, Dare, Graham and Macon.

“The western tip keeps improving, but in eastern North Carolina, we’ve seen the Albemarle Sound slowly getting worse,” said Klaus Albertin, chair of DMAC. “The whole coastal plan has missed out on many of these big rain events, so we are keeping a close eye on that area.” 

There were 24 consecutive weeks where drought was observed in the state, according to the State Climate Office. The worst impacts were felt in western North Carolina. 

“We had a number of systems going into voluntary water conservation, elevated wildfire risk linked to the dry conditions, and impacts to wildlife habitat from low water levels,” Albertin said. 

The El Niño pattern, which usually brings cool, wet weather, brought heavier storms from the west, but that pattern isn’t expected to stick around, Albertin said.   

“We are starting to see dry conditions creep into eastern North Carolina,” Albertin said. 

DMAC’s drought map is updated weekly on Thursday.

Written by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.