Scott County is now classified as being in a moderate drought.
Drought conditions continue to worsen across the area. Some places got a little bit of rain this morning, and may get a little more this afternoon. But it doesn’t look like there is any major relief for at least the next week. pic.twitter.com/VvzW2Fa5Lo
— NWS Morristown (@NWSMorristown) September 26, 2019
That distinction came from the U.S. Drought Monitor — a collaboration of several federal agencies — with its weekly update on Thursday.
Even though light rain fell across parts of Scott County on Monday, and more was expected Thursday afternoon, the northern Cumberland Plateau region remained extremely dry, even for late September — which is normally the second driest month of the year, trailing only October.
Less than two-tenths of an inch of rain had been recorded in Oneida during the month of September, as of Thursday afternoon. In a typical year, 3.11 inches of rain are received during the month of September.
The same scenario was playing out across the state, as 61 percent of Tennessee’s land mass was listed as being in a moderate drought Thursday, with pockets of severe drought creeping up in the southern valley area near Chattanooga. Severe drought was also being reported in Kentucky.
The Tennessee Division of Forestry began requiring burn permits for outdoors burning on September 23, though those permits aren’t usually required until October 15. Also, the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area has a burn ban in place that prohibits any wood- or charcoal-based fire, including campfires or cooking fires, outside designated campgrounds. No campfires are permitted in the backcountry.