Christmas Day rain helps with drought situation

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 06:01 AM

FOREST CITY — A steady rain on Christmas Day possibly lifted Rutherford County from its severe drought status, as reported on Dec. 20 by the North Caorlina Drought Management Advisory Council.

Brad Joyner said 2.07 inches of rainfall was recorded at the Broad River Water Plant, off Union Road in Rutherfordton, from Christmas Day to Wednesday morning.

Sam Molinas, who measures rainfall from his Green Hill home for the National Weather Service, reported more than 2.85 inches of rain fell on Christmas Day to early Wednesday.

Not since late September or early October has there been a steady rain as experienced on Tuesday.

Already in December, 4.2 inches of rain has been collected, which is much higher than last month.

During the month of November, only .54 inches of rain was officially recorded, Molinas said. Until November, the county has experienced a "relatively normal year" of rainfall, he reported.

As of Dec. 20, Rutherford County was among seven other counties in a severe drought category. Others were Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union counties.

There are 57 counties in a moderate drought category and 16 counties abnormally dry.

Drought classiciations are Abnormally Dry, Moderate Drought, Severe Drought, Extreme drought and Exceptional Drought.