North Carolina's drought conditions are getting better, but nearly half of the state is still in a severe or moderate drought.
The Department of Environmental Quality says the mountains and the Piedmont are still significantly dry. DEQ says there was less precipitation this winter than anticipated. That's usually a replenishing season for rivers and reservoirs. But the weather this spring has already started to reverse that trend, according to DEQ spokeswoman Marla Sink.
“Just in the last week, we've seen significant precipitation fall in the mountains and the Piedmont, and that is just welcome,” Sink said.
Sink said conditions are still better than they were six months ago, when the drought helped contribute to more than a dozen wildfires.
The drought is affecting nearly 40 counties currently under moderate drought conditions. Seven counties in the mountains are severely dry.
The department anticipates a normal amount of rainfall this spring, which should also help drought conditions, Sink said.