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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for South Carolina

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across South Carolina using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in South Carolina. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Row crop growth is stunted; irrigation begins early
  • Brush fires increase
39.3
of SC
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Peach size is reduced; non-irrigated corn shows severe stress
  • Fire risk increases; tree pests increase
  • Water use is high; creeks, streams, and lakes are low
15.3
of SC
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Cattle are lighter; producers are selling calves early and feeding cattle earlier
  • Number of fires increases, and fires are more intense
  • River and lake levels are low; saltwater intrusion occurs; hydroelectric power production is reduced
0.6
of SC
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Soil moisture is low; winter crops are slow to germinate
  • Burn bans begin
  • Mandatory water restrictions are implemented; lake outflow is low
0
of SC
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Producers are hauling water for cattle; auctions see record number of cattle
  • Trees are stressed; fish are dying
  • Wells are contaminated or running dry; lakes are extremely low with hazards exposed
0
of SC
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Row crop growth is stunted; irrigation begins early
  • Brush fires increase
43.7
of SC
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Peach size is reduced; non-irrigated corn shows severe stress
  • Fire risk increases; tree pests increase
  • Water use is high; creeks, streams, and lakes are low
34.4
of SC
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Cattle are lighter; producers are selling calves early and feeding cattle earlier
  • Number of fires increases, and fires are more intense
  • River and lake levels are low; saltwater intrusion occurs; hydroelectric power production is reduced
4.3
of SC
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Soil moisture is low; winter crops are slow to germinate
  • Burn bans begin
  • Mandatory water restrictions are implemented; lake outflow is low
0
of SC
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Producers are hauling water for cattle; auctions see record number of cattle
  • Trees are stressed; fish are dying
  • Wells are contaminated or running dry; lakes are extremely low with hazards exposed
0
of SC
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Row crop growth is stunted, irrigation begins early
  • Brush fires increase
40
of SC
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Peach size is reduced; non-irrigated corn shows severe stress
  • Fire risk increases; tree pests increase
  • Water use is high; creeks, streams, and lakes are low
18.4
of SC
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Cattle are lighter; producers are selling calves early and feeding cattle earlier
  • Number of fires increases, and fires are more intense
  • River and lake levels are low; saltwater intrusion occurs; hydroelectric power production is reduced
0
of SC
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Soil moisture is low; winter crops are slow to germinate
  • Burn bans begin
  • Mandatory water restrictions are implemented; lake outflow is low
0
of SC
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Producers are hauling water for cattle; auctions see record number of cattle
  • Trees are stressed; fish are dying
  • Wells are contaminated or running dry; lakes are extremely low with hazards exposed
0
of SC
39
people in South Carolina are affected by drought
0
counties with USDA disaster designations
32nd
driest May was in 2021, over the past 127 years
62nd
driest year to date was in 2021, over the past 127 years

Explore Drought Conditions by City and County

Summary

View up-to-date drought conditions down to the city and county level, including temperature, and precipitation conditions, key drought indicators, outlooks, historical conditions, and water supply, agriculture, and public health maps.

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Drought in South Carolina from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in South Carolina lasted 156 weeks beginning on January 4, 2000, and ending on December 24, 2002. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of August 20, 2002, where D4 affected 50.71% of South Carolina land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.