Bamberg in early drought; La Nina may lead to dry weather
Bamberg County had less than four inches of rain in the last two months, leading state officials to say it’s in an “incipient drought.” Incipient status is considered a “drought watch” phase before a county enters into a moderate drought.
A Denmark-area volunteer recorded about 3.56 inches of rain since the end of September, according to the National Weather Service’s Community, Collaborative, Rain, Hail and Snow Network.
A volunteer near Ehrhardt reported 1.84 inches of rain during the same period.
The South Carolina Drought Response Committee met Monday via conference call to discuss the status of the state’s counties.
Orangeburg and Calhoun counties remained drought free, according to the Drought Response Committee.
"Above-normal rainfalls in the upper Savannah Basin over the past several months have improved streamflow conditions in Oconee and Anderson counties," SCDNR Senior Hydrologist Scott Harder stated.
"The improved streamflow conditions supported the removal of an incipient drought status for these two counties.” During the meeting, some committee members expressed concern about the potential for dry conditions due to La Nina.
While there haven’t been many wildfires recently, fuels that grew over the growing season are rapidly curing.
"If dry conditions continue, we expect to see a rise in the number of wildfires, especially on days when high winds coincide with low relative humidity," S.C. Forestry Commission Forest Protection Chief Darryl Jones said.
"A developing drought could also result in poor seedling survival as we enter tree-planting season."