With the recent lack of significant rainfall, coastal North Carolina has moved into the first level of drought.
All or part of 26 eastern N.C. counties are now rated as Abnormally Dry according to the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council map issued Thursday.
“Until further notice, the NC DMAC strongly urges the implementation of the following drought response actions – in addition to previous advisories – for all water users located in or dependent on water resources from the areas of the state experiencing,” dry conditions, the council posted at NCDrought.org.
Climate data from the National Weather Service shows rainfall levels at Billy Mitchell Field in Frisco are 3.75 inches below normal for the month of January, and down 2.19 inches of the last 60 days.
The weather monitoring station at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is 0.3 inches above normal for January, but the two-month average is 0.18 inches below normal.
A storm system is forecast to move through the area to start the weekend, bringing a change of moderate to locally heavy rainfall Friday night and into Saturday.
Recommendations from the council for areas in the advisory are to review and prepare to implement Water Shortage Response Plans at the appropriate time and participate in regional and local coordination for the management of water resources.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.