Despite the recent dry spell, the drought appears to be waning again.
Charleston County has been returned to “normal” status, effectively off the state’s drought watch list for the first time in nearly a year. Berkeley and Dorchester counties remain in “incipient” status, meaning there is the threat of drought.
Drought has plagued the Lowcountry and state on and off since the late 1990s. Recent rainfalls have held the region at little more than four inches below its long-term average.
The decision Thursday by the S.C. Drought Committee reduced the drought status for 21 of the state’s 46 counties. No county remains in severe status.
The changes were based on rainfall in the past two months.
Berkeley and Dorchester were among counties not changed because indicators other than rainfall, such as groundwater levels, didn’t show significant enough improvement, and because the state is moving into the driest time of the year, according to a news release.
“For the last 30 days, the rainfall has been focused in Charleston County,” said meteorologist Jonathan Lamb with the National Weather Service in Charleston.