Image by Flickr user Martin LaBar
Largely thanks to a dry June, a low-grade drought status has been declared in all of South Carolina's counties.
The "incipient" status is the lowest of the state's four levels (the other three are moderate, severe, and extreme.)
During incipient drought, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) activates the Drought Information Center and increases monitoring and notification of the drought status.
According to S.C. State Climatologist Hope Mizzell, the decision to upgrade was driven by the dry weather's impact on agriculture and increased wildfire activity, "After many sites experienced the wettest winter since 1998, we were optimistic that maybe finally we would get an extended break from the drought, but beginning in April the rainfall pattern changed." Rainfall amounts and coverage have been especially insufficient since June 1 for many areas combined with above normal temperature.
While Charleston received 3.24 inches of rain in June, down 1.72 inches from normal, we're still above average for the year by 2.13 inches. However the Greenville area is down 5.67 inches.
Oh, and let's not forget that we're likely to get some intense thunderstorms tonight in Charleston.