SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Despite the flooding for the low country of SC the drought is getting worse for the Upstate.
We are more than 8 inches below average rainfall for the year at GSP due to missing out on the two tropical cyclones to come up the coast.
The United States drought monitor shows the Upstate ranging from severe to extreme drought in a few spots. But the state climatologist, Dr. Hope Mizzell says our drought monitor in SC is based on several factors, not just precipitation. Forest fire threat, rainfall, and water supply are some of the factors taken into account when considering the drought status. Regardless, Mizzell says the upstate is in Severe Drought and expects that to be upgraded during this week’s meeting with the South Carolina Drought Response Committee.
Dr. Mizzell says the water supply for the upstate is fine for now, but need to be monitored as we move through our driest months of the year. She says that drought relief is not expected for November, but that is normal. However, Mizzell stressed that the Winter months is when we replenish the reservoirs before the hot and dry Summer conditions approach. Winter is the time we need normal rainfall, not necessarily above normal precipitation.
Mizzell says our drought monitor at the state level is geared more towards water supply problems and the committee normally meets every 8 weeks to avoid the windshield wiper effect of changing the drought status frequently. However, as conditions prove needed she says the committee will meet every 4 to 6 weeks.
At this time Mizzell says she does not see any indication of any state level water restrictions and that would have to come at a local level.
She encourages everyone to be good stewards when it comes to water resources. A full list of ways to conserve water on a daily basis is found at the SC DNR website listed below.
The reason you may see more updates from NC is that they meet every week and use their drought monitor directly off of the United States Drought Monitor.