Climate office: NC inearly drought stages

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Officials at the State Climate Office at N.C. State University say North Carolina is experiencing drought for the first time in at least two years.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the climate office says that for the past month, many sites across the state are an inch or more below what they normally get this time of year.

Climatologist Rebecca Cumbie says on the office’s website that in the western Piedmont, several sites are 2 inches or more below normal for the past month.

Cumbie also said the two-week period that ended Tuesday was the warmest on record for many areas of the state, with some experiencing mean temperatures as much as 7 degrees above normal.

The warmer temperatures also mean more water evaporates, and when little rain is falling in the first place, that means drought, she said.

Stream flow, ground water, soil moisture levels, agriculture reports and other drought indicators show drought is back in varying degrees across the state, according to Cumbie.