Currently Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley county, as well as the rest of South Carolina generally is sitting in a high pressure system. This means that dry air is sinking towards the surface in a clockwise direction. Because ideal conditions for precipitation include moist and rising air, rainfall is at a minimum in this region of the United States and will remain off our radar until well into next week.
As we have seen little to no rain and aren’t expected to in the coming days, it is important to turn our attention to the drought monitor.
Northern parts of Charleston County have been put into D0 or Abnormally Dry and D1 or Moderate Drought categories. Under Abnormally Dry conditions, some warnings to heed are an increased chance of brush fires, and stunted growth for row crops. Although, the latter doesn’t necessarily apply this time of year because our growing season has ended. With Moderate Drought conditions the risk of fire is increased while water usage is relatively high, and smaller bodies like creeks, streams, or lakes become very low. In this situation, voluntary water conservation is requested when possible.
Climatologically speaking, drought in our area is common for this time of year, but not to the extent we are seeing now.
We are currently experiencing one of our driest periods, with this October being the 60th driest over the past 127 years. In contrast, 2021 has been the 43rd wettest year to date in the same time frame. As of the most recent drought report this week more than 1.79 million South Carolinians is experiencing drought.
At this time, there are no reported wildfires to keep an eye on in or around Charleston, however in western North Carolina, a forest fire on Pilot Mountain has and is burning more than 40,000 acres. It is crucial to stay vigilant of fires in our area while we are under such dry conditions, because the risk that one may escalate quickly is high.