Drought had been on a steady retreat ever since rain began to fall in the final days of November following an autumn of historic dryness. However, things have gotten a little drier recently, with the number of abnormally dry counties growing from 20 on Feb. 7 to 62 on Feb. 14. The most recent map showed the trend continuing, with all counties from Buncombe and Polk west in severe drought and 10 more western counties in moderate drought. Another 56 counties are abnormally dry.
Drought maps are updated every Thursday with data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. www.ncdrought.org.