Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Columbia, SC
AXUS72 KCAE 102056
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Columbia SC
356 PM EST Fri Mar 10 2017
...Little Change in Drought Across the Midlands and Central
Savannah River Area...
Rainfall for the past 30 days ending on February 28th ranged from
1 to 3 inches across the Midlands and Central Savannah River
Area. This combined with temperatures that averaged 5 to 10
degrees above normal did not contribute to any improvement in the
See www.water.weather.gov/precip/ for more details.
...Summary of Impacts...
On March 06 2017...the South Carolina Forestry Commission began to
show that some areas of the state are becoming slightly drier.
Most of the state had values less than 200. However...the northern
Midlands and Coastal Plain indicated values increasing up to 400.
The United State Corps of Engineers will continue to release
approximately 3800 cubic feet per second...cfs...from Lake
Thurmond for much of the upcoming period.
Conditions have worsened slightly over the past 30 to 45 days
across much of the Midlands and Central Savannah River Area. The
drought has increased across the northern Midlands and the Pee Dee
region of the state. The extreme western Midlands and northern
Central Savannah River Area remain in d0...abnormally dry to
d1...moderate drought. The driest counties continue to be from
western Fairfield county southward across Newberry county into
Go to www.drought.gov for more details on the drought across
Georgia and South Carolina.
...Soil Moisture Conditions...
The Crop Moisture Index has shown some worsening of
conditions...during the past 4 week period...across east-central
Georgia and central South Carolina. Areas that indicated some
abnormally moist conditions now indicate slightly dry/favorably
Here is a breakdown of the current drought conditions across the
Midlands and Central Savannah River Area.
D1...Moderate Drought covered just the extreme northern CSRA and
western Midlands. This includes the counties of
Lincoln...McCormick...Newberry and the far western area of
D0...Abnormally Dry conditions covered parts of the CSRA...western
Midlands and northern Midlands. This includes the counties of
The remainder of the Midlands and Central Savannah River Area
showed no drought conditions. The improvement over much of the
Winter season has stalled with the unseasonably dry and warm
conditions during February.
go to www.drought.gov for more details.
...South Carolina Drought Committee...
The South Carolina Drought Response Committee met on February 02
2017. Much of the Upstate and Piedmont remained in severe to
moderate drought. The areas that saw improvement were across the
central Midlands...portions of the Central Savannah River Area
and the Lowcountry. The counties that remained in the severe
category were Oconee...Pickens and Anderson counties. The
committee is expected to meet again in late March or early April.
...Ground Water Conditions...
The ground water network maintained by the United States
Geological Survey was used in this report. Ground water levels
reported on March 10 show many of the wells continuing to fall.
However, some improvement was seen in the wells in
Lancaster...Sumter...Kershaw and Richmond counties.
A higher number means a lower water table and therefore less
groundwater. A minus difference indicates less ground water.
Aiken County - 430 well near Jackson
February 02 2017 164.64 feet
March 10 2017 163.94 feet
Difference plus 0.70 feet
McCormick County - 52 Baker Creek State Park well
February 02 2017 39.93 feet
March 10 2017 39.95 feet
Difference minus 0.02 feet
Sumter County - 355 well near Dalzell
February 02 2017 13.74 feet
March 10 2017 11.54 feet
Difference plus 2.20 feet
Kershaw County - 433 near Liberty Hill
February 02 2017 54.42 feet
March 10 2017 54.25 feet
Difference plus 0.17 feet
Lancaster County - 498 well Lancaster County Airport
February 02 2017 32.68 feet
March 10 2017 32.47 feet
Difference plus 0.21 feet
Richmond county - 30AA04 well near McBean
February 02 2017 133.08 feet
March 10 2017 132.99 feet
Difference plus 0.09 feet
...River and Streamflow Conditions...
Looking at the 14 day stream flow average compared to
historical streamflows for March 09 2017 shows most of
flows are in the Much Below Normal to Below Normal
Data source...United States Geological Survey.
Some of the reservoirs showed increases and decreases in pool
elevation during the period. The most significant changes were
on Lake Greenwood and Lake Russell.
Lake Russell Lake Thurmond
February 02 2017 474.27 feet 320.67 feet
March 10 2017 473.71 feet 320.24 feet
Difference minus 0.56 feet minus 0.43 feet
Lake Greenwood Lake Murray
February 02 2017 434.60 feet 356.80 feet
March 10 2017 435.81 feet 356.84 feet
difference plus 1.21 feet plus 0.04 feet
Lake Marion near Pineville Lake Wateree
February 02 2017 75.20 feet 98.13 feet
March 10 2017 74.78 feet 97.60 feet
difference minus 0.42 feet minus 0.53 feet
Note...lake levels are based on recent rainfall...releases and
local power demands.
Lake Russell and Lake Thurmond were below or near the guide
curve for this time of year. Lake Russell is around 1 foot
below the rule curve. Lake Thurmond is around 9 feet below the
rule curve for this time of year.
Data for this segment was gathered from the United States
Geological Survey...the United States Army Corp of Engineers
and Duke Energy.
The precipitation totals ending March 09 2017
Station Precipitation Departure from Normal Percent of
Columbia SC 8.88 inches plus 0.52 inches 106 percent
Augusta GA 12.35 inches plus 3.22 inches 135 percent
...Precipitation and Temperature Outlook...
Near term...through March 17...a trough of low pressure will
develop across the eastern half of the country. This will provide
cooler than normal temperatures and above normal chances for
rainfall through the period. Rainfall amounts across the Midlands
and CSRA are expected to range from 0.50 inch up to 1 inch.
Please see the gridded forecasts for the chance of rain over the
next 7 days at weather.gov/cae.
The 8 to 14 day outlook for the period March 18 to 24 calls
for a 40 to 50 percent chance of above normal temperatures with a
30 to 40 percent chance of above normal precipitation.
The 30-day outlook for March 2017 indicates a 40 percent
chance of above normal temperatures with equal chances of
above...below and normal precipitation.
The 3-month outlook for March...April and May calls for a
40 percent chance of above normal temperatures with equal
chances of above...below and normal precipitation.
Go to the climate prediction center web page at
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov in lower case letters for more details and
the latest outlooks.
...Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...
The outlook call for warmer than normal temperatures along with
a slightly better chance for above normal rainfall. Any
improvement of the drought will highly dependent on rainfall
A shift to below normal rainfall will slow any improvement in the
drought and could possibly lead to a slight worsening of conditions
as the region heads into Spring.
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE... This product will be updated on April 07 2017
or sooner if necessary in response to significant changes in
go to www.drought.gov for more details.
RELATED WEB SITES...
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses...
US Drought Monitor...http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html
NOAA Drought Page...http://www.drought.noaa.gov
Climate Prediction Center (CPC)...http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
Columbia Drought Page...http://www.weather.gov/cae/drought.html
U.S. Drought Monitor...http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html
SC Drought Page...
ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...
National Weather Service...http://water.weather.gov
US Geological Survey...http://water.usgs.gov
US Army Corps of Engineers...http://www.usace.army.mil
The United States Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort
involving NOAA/National Weather Service...the National Climatic
Data Center...the USDA...State and Regional Center Climatologists
and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites...
State Cooperative Extension Services...the USDA...Duke Energy...
Santee Cooper...South Carolina Electric and Gas...USAC and the
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
National Weather Service
2909 Aviation Way
West Columbia SC 29170