Lowcountry dry spell could turn into a drought

It's been a very hot and dry spring in the Lowcountry. So far this year, Charleston is 7 1/2 inches below the average rainfall levels for this year. In the month of May, it's rained less than half an inch.

"Right now we're classified under 'abnormally dry' conditions.  But if this weather pattern keeps us, we could see an upgrade to drought conditions," said Ron Morales, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Local farmers are having a tough time with the dry weather too. Pete Ambrose owns a 130 acre farm on Johns Island.  He says without his extensive irrigation system, his crops would never make it.

"My corn would look like sugar cane, all twisted up and dry. I wouldn't have any crops to sell without watering my vegetables every day," said Ambrose.

Morales said afternoon shower patterns usually start around June, but a few downpours won't penetrate the soil enough to keep in moisture.

"Mother Nature doesn't look at a calendar.  There's no telling when we'll see a significant amount of rain," said Morales.

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