Drought Monitor Archive

The North Carolina drought designations for this week are based on criteria used in the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council's weekly assessment for localized conditions. (§143-355.1)

Select An Archive:

US Drought Monitor of North Carolina

Drought Classification LegendCounty and Basin LegendDisclaimer


North Carolina Drought Advisory

Released: March 23, 2017

The North Carolina Drought Advisory issued by the Drought Management Advisory Council has been updated to reflect drought conditions on March 21, 2017 indicated on the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina.  Until further notice, the NCDMAC strongly urges the implementation of drought response actions, for all water users located in or dependent on water resources from the areas of the state experiencing the following drought conditions:

  • (D2) Severe drought conditions.
  • (D1) Moderate drought conditions.
  • (DO) Impending drought conditions (abnormally dry conditions).

County Drought Classification

If the US Drought Monitor of NC shows more than one drought designation in a county, the drought intensity classification for each county published by the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council is the highest drought designation that applies to at least twenty five percent (25%) of the land area of a county.

Drought Classification and Response Actions

D2-Severe Drought

The NCDMAC strongly advises all water users in the counties that are indicated on the US Drought Monitor Map as suffering from Severe Drought (D2) conditions to enact the following precautions in addition to previous advisories until further notice:

  • Implement Water Shortage Response Plans, if not already enacted.
  • Stay informed on drought conditions and advisories (www.ncdrought.org).
  • Participate, as appropriate, in regional and local coordination for the management of water resources.
  • Reexamine water delivery systems to minimize water loss and maximize water use efficiency.
  • Eliminate nonessential uses of water.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of incorporating water reuse, reclamation and/or recycling into daily operations.
  • Seek to reduce water usage by, at least, the same percentage as the percent differential between normal seasonal water supply availability and the actual water supply availability resulting from current drought conditions.
  • Increase public awareness and educational outreach programs emphasizing the need to conserve water.

D1 - Moderate Drought

The NCDMAC advises all water users in the counties that are indicated on the US Drought Monitor Map as suffering from Moderate Drought (D1) conditions to enact the following precautions in addition to previous advisories until further notice:

  • Adhere to local water use restrictions.
  • Participate, as appropriate, in regional and local coordination for the management of water resources.
  • Stay informed on drought conditions and advisories (www.ncdrought.org).
  • Project water needs and available water supply for a ninety day period from the issuance of this advisory.
  • Assess your vulnerability to the drought conditions and adjust water usage to prolong available supply.
  • Inspect water delivery system components (e.g. irrigation lines, fixtures, processing equipment, water system lines, etc.), repair leaks and ensure that existing equipment is operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Minimize nonessential uses of water.
  • Implement available public awareness and educational outreach programs emphasizing the need to conserve water.

D0 - Abnormally Dry

The NCDMAC requests all water users in the counties that are indicated on the US Drought Monitor Map as suffering from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to closely monitor their water supply source for diminished capacity and take precautions to prepare for impending drought conditions.

  • Review and be prepared to implement your Water Shortage Response Plans at the appropriate time.
  • Participate, as appropriate, in regional and local coordination for the management of water resources.
  • Stay informed on drought conditions and advisories (www.ncdrought.org).


Drought Monitor History

Counties Under Current Advisory

D2 - Severe Drought

Buncombe County
Burke County
Caldwell County
Catawba County
Cherokee County
Clay County
Cleveland County
Graham County
Haywood County
Henderson County
Jackson County
Lincoln County
Macon County
Madison County
McDowell County
Polk County
Rutherford County
Swain County
Transylvania County

Total: 19

D1 - Moderate Drought

Alamance County
Alexander County
Alleghany County
Ashe County
Avery County
Brunswick County
Caswell County
Chatham County
Davidson County
Davie County
Durham County
Forsyth County
Gaston County
Granville County
Guilford County
Iredell County
Orange County
Person County
Randolph County
Rockingham County
Rowan County
Stokes County
Surry County
Vance County
Watauga County
Wilkes County
Yadkin County
Yancey County

Total: 28

D0 - Abnormally Dry

Anson County
Bladen County
Cabarrus County
Columbus County
Cumberland County
Franklin County
Harnett County
Hoke County
Lee County
Mecklenburg County
Mitchell County
Montgomery County
Moore County
Richmond County
Robeson County
Scotland County
Stanly County
Union County
Wake County
Warren County

Total: 20