It is known that North Carolina tends to be hot, humid and dry. But this year we are suffering what some people say may very well be "the drought of record". Rainfall in the Raleigh/Durham area is 10 to 15 inches below normal for the year. Other than a few drops (literally) here and there we haven't had significant rain since June/Beginning of July.
Water bans and restrictions are being put in place all over. In the beginning of August Fuquay Varina (my town) was placed on a voluntary water ban. As of August 30 we are on a mandatory one. These restrictions include no washing cars or boats and only watering from midnight to 9 am on Wednesday's. Other towns have even harsher restrictions. And the fines for violating are pretty hefty.
I know some of you are thinking so what? Your cars go dirty and your plants die. But honestly that isn't the issue. The ramifications are being felt everywhere. The biggest concern was stated on this morning's news:
Water levels in Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir, are dropping by a foot every 10 to 12 days. Raleigh and the other municipalities that buy water from the city have enough water to last until about Jan. 20.
So what happens after January 20? Right now officials are not sure. Lucky for me, my town gets water from a different source. But frankly if it doesn't rain soon there will be the same issue everywhere.
Obviously the farmers are suffering. Their crops are crap. Livestock owners are having to go elsewhere to find feed. There has been boating accidents due to dangerous docks and sudden drops in water levels causing boats to hit objects that are normally hidden. The lake that cools the nuclear plant is so low that an impact on cooling is a big concern. Power plants are having to reduce their hydroelectric power output, in some places, as much as 30 - 45 percent.
There is no real rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. A few days have a 30 percent chance of scattered showers, however that is what has been listed for the past 3 months. It's not looking good. And October and November are traditionally dry months in North Carolina, and the La Niña weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean means the region likely will get even less rain this winter than normal. The drought could easily extend into next year.
I don't understand nature sometimes. Texas right now is getting hit by another hurricane. Parts of Texas have been experiencing floods and an overwhelming rainfall amount this year. The Midwest suffered floods a few weeks ago. Same with parts of California. And yet we, and a few other Southern states, are bone dry.
I'm just crossing my fingers and toes that it rains –– alot –– soon.