History and Resources
The drought monitoring process has evolved over the years as a result of two very significant droughts and resulting regulations.
Types of Drought
Meteorological drought is usually based on precipitation's departure from normal over some period of time. These definitions are usually region-specific, and presumably based on a thorough understanding of regional climatology. Normally, meteorological measurements are the first indicators of drought.
Agricultural drought occurs when there isn't enough soil moisture to meet the needs of a particular crop at a particular time. Agricultural drought is typically evident after meteorological drought but before a hydrological drought.
Hydrological drought refers to deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies. It is measured as streamflow, and as lake, reservoir, and ground water levels. There is a time lag between lack of rain or snow and less water in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, so hydrological measurements are not the earliest indicators of drought. When precipitation is reduced or deficient for a long time, this storage is reflected in declining surface and subsurface water levels.
Drought Regulations and Guidance
- Session Law 2002-167
- North Carolina General Statute 143.355.1
- Drought Assessment and Response Plan
- 15A NCAC 02E.0600 – Water Use During Drought Rules
- Session Law 2008-143