Southern AERA Quarterly Activity Bulletin of The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources-Southeast Regional Climate Center
Volume 2, No. 2
THE SOUTH CAROLINA DROUGHT RESPONSE PROGRAMOne meteorological event that is often overlooked is drought. Drought is defined as a period of time with less-than-normal rainfall. No region, including the southeast United States, is immune to the possibility of drought. Drought can have an adverse affect on the environment as well as communities. When rainfall is less than normal, there is less water to maintain normal soil moisture, stream flows, reservoir levels, and to recharge ground water. Water quality often decreases as water quantity decreases. Drought may affect the ability of a community to supply safe, clean, ample water to its residents, businesses, and industries.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources-Water Resources Division (SCDNR-WRD) has developed the Drought Response Program to monitor drought conditions in South Carolina and coordinate the state's response. There are six Drought Management Areas (DMA) located throughout the state - the Northwest, North Central, Northeast, West Central, Central, and Southern.
The SCDNR-WRD routinely monitors climatological and other drought-related variables. These variables include temperature, precipitation, runoff, stream flows, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and other drought data. The four levels of drought severity are incipient, moderate, severe, and extreme. The Drought Response Program can be found on the World Wide Web at:
This site contains information about the DMAs, current drought indices, weekly status reports, and, materials on water conservation. For more information, please contact:
SC Department of Natural Resources
Water Resources Division
1201 Main St., Suite 1100
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone (803) 737-0800
Hot Summer Days
The summer season can be the most exciting and active season of all; however, the high temperatures common to the southeast United States can be dangerous. The sun plays an important role in our weather. It is the driving force behind all weather on earth. In the activity below we will look at the summer season and study reasons why the Southeast has such warm summertime temperatures.
Definitions and Background
1. Name the seasons that occur each year. Why do we have seasons?
2. Which season has the warmest temperatures?
USING THE FOLLOWING TABLE, ANSWER QUESTIONS 3 THROUGH 5.
Hours of Daylight
Latitude 0 23.5N 66.5N 23.5S 66.5S Date March 21 12 12 12 12 12 June 21 12 14 18 10 6 September 22 12 12 12 12 12 December 21 12 10 6 14 18
4. Which latitude receives the most hours of daylight on March 21 and September 22? Why?
5. The Southern Hemisphere has opposite seasons than we do. What causes this?
6. In the Southeast our weather is greatly influenced by the Bermuda High. The winds circulating around this high pressure system bring in humid air, which helps produce showers and thunderstorms. Draw arrows around the high pressure system to indicate air flow around its center to describe why this happens.
7. The following are facts and statements made during the summer when temperatures are relatively high. Mark each statement true or false. For those that are false rewrite the statement to make it true.
9. Does relative humidity make the temperature feel cooler or warmer than it actually is during the summer?
10. The Appalachian Mountains can serve as a control of temperature for our region in summer. How do these mountains keep the Southeast from experiencing cooler temperatures in summer months?
Weather and Climate Resources for the Classroom
State Temp(F) Date Station Alabama 112 September 5, 1925 Centerville Arkansas 120 August 10, 1936 Ozark Florida 109 June 29, 1931 Monticello Georgia 112 July 24, 1952 Louisville Louisiana 114 August 10, 1936 Plain Dealing Mississippi 115 July 29, 1930 Holly Springs North Carolina 110 August 21, 1983 Fayetteville Oklahoma 120 July 26, 1943 Tishomingo South Carolina 111 June 28, 1954 Camden Tennessee 113 August 9, 1930 Perryville Texas 120 August 12, 1936 Seymour Virginia 110 July 15, 1954 Balcony Falls*Source: National Climatic Data Center
Southern AER is a quarterly publication of the Southeast Regional Climate Center. Funding is provided by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Permission is granted for the reproduction of materials contained in this bulletin.
Southeast Regional Climate Center
S.C. Department of Natural Resources
1201 Main Street, Suite 1100
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, or age. Direct all inquiries to the Office of Human Resources, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.