Recent rains have allayed a longstanding drought in Western North Carolina, but the region still lags well behind normal precipitation rates.
According to data from the State Climate Office of North Carolina, a little more than two inches of precipitation have fallen on Asheville since the beginning of March. Significant rains are expected again this weekend, which should nudge the city closer toward its average precipitation total for the month of 3.85 inches. (Going back to 1947, Asheville has averaged 37.88 inches of precipitation annually.)
But despite gains, the region remains under a “severe” drought listing, with the governor’s office calling for voluntary conservation measures from residents. The worst of the state’s drought has pushed east into the central Piedmont region, but the westernmost portion of Cherokee County remains under an “extreme” drought classification as well.
Over the past 365 days, the southern mountain region has experienced a nearly 13-inch departure from its average annual precipitation.
— Kent Priestley, contributing editor