Storms haven't yet quenched drought

Recent thunderstorms have provided some relief to lawns and farms, but the rain hasn't done enough to bring the Charlotte area out of its yearlong drought.

Mecklenburg and surrounding counties are still listed by the National Weather Service among 27 N.C. counties in an “extreme” drought – the second-worst level of drought. And recent days' rainfall has been spotty, with Charlotte/Douglas International Airport getting only .02 of an inch Sunday while other parts of the city received nearly two inches.

“We're certainly getting into the more typical summertime pattern, and it's likely that we will see scattered thunderstorms most afternoons in July,” said Larry Gabric, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service.

“But the bottom line is that the rain from these storms is not nearly enough to make a significant difference in the reservoirs.”

Rainfall for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area is at 22.69 inches for this year, an increase from last year's 17.87 inches, but there is still an overall deficit of 3.83 inches for the year.

Gabric said the Mecklenburg area needs 12 to 15 inches of rain within several days in order to fully recharge the reservoirs and streams and break the drought.

Staff writer Steve Lyttle contributed.