Archived Outdoors

Drought shrinks following Christmas rain

Drought maps are published every Thursday. U.S. Drought Monitor of N.C. map Drought maps are published every Thursday. U.S. Drought Monitor of N.C. map

While some may have preferred a white Christmas, the rain that covered the region instead has proven the better Christmas gift for a region in continued drought. 

According to the most recent drought map based on data through 8 a.m. Dec. 26, the area in severe drought has shrunk from 21 western counties to just five — Macon, Swain, Clay, Graham and Cherokee counties. Moderate drought still covers an additional 31 counties, including Haywood, Jackson, Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties, with another 31 counties rated abnormally dry.

Two-day totals for Dec. 25-26 were 2.68 inches in Asheville, 1.44 inches in Cullowhee, 4.8 inches in Highlands and 1.65 inches in Oconaluftee.

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