For crops, rivers, living beings, drought could spell a bummer of summer

For North Carolinians who were living here in 2007, you might remember that year’s drought — worse than 2002, even worse than 1925, which in a more innocent time, was considered the very worst of the worst.
By October of that year, 37 percent of the state was classified as being in exceptional drought.
Now some of those same areas — among them, Lenoir, Duplin Greene and Cumberland counties — have been designated as “abnormally dry.” (Geek alert: Last week, North Carolina’s drought map and the national map differed somewhat because the state’s version measures impacts — such as dwindling public water supplies.
Public water supplies are haven’t been affected, although reservoirs that are part of Duke Energy’s Catawba-Wateree Project in western North Carolina are operating under special drought protocols.
On average, whatever that is, the last spring frost in central North Carolina occurs in early to mid-April.
Ozone season also starts earlier, under the EPA’s new standards for the pollutant.
The new EPA standard for ozone is 70 parts per billion, and “we’re right at that in Charlotte.” The entire state currently meets the ozone standard.
However, from 2004-2013, Charlotte failed to meet the federal requirements; as a result, the city and state had to implement rules to reduce those levels.
And less nitrogen oxide means less ozone.
And a summer that’s less of a bummer.

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