Drought arrives in the mountains
Drought has re-entered the western region, with the most recent drought conditions map labeling Transylvania and Henderson counties as experiencing moderate drought.
Meanwhile, 53 North Carolina counties are labeled abnormally dry, including Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay, Cherokee and Buncombe counties.
Little to no rain fell over the state in the week preceding Oct. 3, the date for which data collection ended for the map released Oct. 5. In some western counties, it has been almost two months since the last significant rain event.
Overall, this fall is playing out similarly to 2022, but the western region has been particularly dry. In Asheville, for example, September brought only five days with measurable rainfall, and only one with at least half an inch of rain. The 1.66 inches it totaled this month came in 2.1 inches below average, making for Asheville’s 17th-driest September in the past 72 years.
The short-term forecast remains dry.