Now that it’s officially summer, the heat is on in more ways than one.
Namely, if the trend of sub-par precipitation doesn’t improve, the basin could enter drought level 1 before August. That same trajectory would bring us to drought level 2 before October.
If this seems alarming, consider that the equations used to estimate these dates assume the basin will receive 80 percent of the average monthly rainfall, which has only happened once since February.
In June, Hartwell & Russell received about 35 percent of their average rainfall (1.7 inches versus a 4.8 inch average, and 1.4 versus a 3.8 average, respectively), while Thurmond collected 3 inches toward its 3.8-inch average.
The result? Hartwell’s net inflows are currently 29 percent of normal; Thurmond’s a mere 7 percent.
As we noted in a previous post, dry conditions can exacerbate the situation and make the reservoirs less responsive to rainfall when it does finally come.
These dire drought predictions could seem all too Chicken Little, which compounds the irony, as the sky falling is precisely what the basin needs.
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