Due to recent rain and reduced wildfire potential, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has lifted the statewide drought watch advisory issued on Oct. 11 that included all 13 of the Drought Evaluation Regions within the commonwealth.
Halifax County’s drought problems have lessened with the U.S. Drought Monitor showing the county being completely in a moderate drought as of Oct. 31 after some areas were previously in a moderate or severe drought.
At the moderate drought level, corn yield is low, soybean and cotton crops are stressed, wildlife eat crops, fire danger increases, and burn bans begin.
Voluntary water restrictions are requested, river water levels are lower, and streams are dry at moderate drought levels.
The county also received more rain on Thursday evening, after the drought monitor map was released.
According to the DEQ, the county has received 1.78 inches of rain in the last seven days with the average temperature being 70 degrees.
More rain showers are predicted for Thursday night and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
The determination for lifting the drought watch advisory was a consensus of the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, an interagency group representing state and federal agencies.
The primary factors contributing to the lifting of the drought watch advisory are:
• Recent precipitation has reduced the rainfall deficits that existed during September and early October, improving soil moisture conditions and lessening fire potential,
• Stream flows at nearly all gauging stations have returned to normal levels, and
• Nearly all of the observation wells in the Virginia Climate Response Network have groundwater levels that are within the normal range.
A drought watch is intended to increase awareness of current conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event. Localities, water suppliers, self-supplied water users and all citizens are encouraged to begin preparations for a potential drought.
Statewide information on the current drought status is available on the DEQ website atwww.deq.virginia.gov.