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Drought conditions persist in Eastern North Carolina

North Carolina Climate Office

Unusually dry weather is having an impact across North Carolina. Much of the eastern part of the state is in a drought.

According to the North Carolina Climate Office, the Piedmont is getting decent rainfall at least once a week.

But there are dry patches along the Tennessee border, where a wildfire scorched about 300 acres and forced evacuations near Maggie Valley last week.

"Everyone just needs to be vigilant, especially when it comes to open burnings, until conditions improve and we get some soaking rains moving across more of the state," NC Forest Service spokesman Philip Jackson told the USA Today Network.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says a swath of Eastern North Carolina from Tarboro to Southport is in “severe drought.”

Farmers are having to look outside the state for hay to feed livestock, and lake and stream levels are running low, according to the Drought Monitor’s weekly report. The rest of the region is considered “abnormally dry” or in “moderate drought.”

Forecasters say there is an equal chance of dry conditions persisting, or rainfall returning to normal over the next two months.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says temperatures across the Southeast will be above normal.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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