WESTERN N.C. (WSPA) – The North Carolina’s Drought Management Advisory Council (DMAC) has expanded its Severe Drought category (D2 classification) for parts of 15 counties as of Tuesday.

The following counties are impacted according to officials:

  • Burke
  • Cherokee
  • Clay
  • Cleveland
  • Gaston
  • Graham
  • Henderson
  • Jackson
  • Macon
  • McDowell
  • Polk
  • Rutherford
  • Swain
  • Transylvania

Severe drought is the second category of the four drought classifications based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. An additional 57 counties in western North Carolina are considered to be in the Moderate Drought category (D1 classification).

NC officials stated most of the state is experiencing dry conditions based on factors including streamflow, groundwater levels, reservoir levels, soil moisture and fire danger. Rainfall deficits of 4 to 10 inches have developed in the western area since the beginning of September.

DMAC’s drought map will be updated next Thursday, November 9.