According to both the South Carolina Drought Response Committee and the United States Drought Monitor, drought conditions across the Midlands are getting worse.

The SCDRC has decided to upgrade the drought status for 15 counties statewide from normal to incipient, which is known as the first stage of drought. Five of those counties are located in the Midlands.

“When you have dry conditions, it’s compounding the potential for brush fires,” SkyWACH Meteorologist Justin Kier said.

It also increases the potential for poor seeding survival during the tree planting season. This could result in much higher spending for the forest industry across the state.

Rainfall will be much needed this winter to recharge surface water and groundwater in an area that is expecting a generally warmer and drier season.

The last SCDRC status change for drought took place on August 11.