A moderate drought in Wake and surrounding counties continues and has spread to counties southwest of Wake, the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council reported Thursday.
The moderate drought advisory affects Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Orange, Person, Randolph, Stanly and Union counties.
The council advises water users to adhere to local water use restrictions and to minimize nonessential water uses.
The drought advisory is based on data from Tuesday, Nov. 7, and does not factor in the rainfall received later. Wake and surrounding counties received from a quarter to 1 inch of rain in the last week, according to the National Weather Service.
Wake and nearby counties have been under a moderate drought advisory since October.
Abnormally dry conditions persist in the northern Coastal Plains and Piedmont.
Other than a few upward spikes, water levels in Falls and Jordan lakes have been dropping since May, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Water reservoirs in Orange County are 70 percent full, according to OWASA, and the risk of shortage due to the drought is minimal.