Although the temperatures are starting to drop, October’s heat has been challenging in Alamance County.
This October has been one of the hottest fall seasons in history. North Carolina saw temperatures in the hundreds, affecting local agriculture and farmers.
The heat wasn’t the only problem. Although uncomfortable, the big concern was the dryness. The extended period with little rain caused issues with water tables and local crops.
Nicholas Petro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Raleigh, looked at the high-temperature patterns.
“The western half of the state is already in moderate drought,” Petro said.
Petro said that this fall is not a guarantee of prolonged dryness in the years to come. He said that right now a cold front is coming into the area and that it was a high-pressure mixture that prevented the heat from leaving. Local areas could even begin to see frost in the coming weeks.
If the temperatures continue to increase over the next few years, however, drought conditions could become more severe.
Michael Strickland, the faculty advisor to Elon’s Student Sierra Coalition, suggests that students buy local produce in order to support struggling farmers. He stressed the importance of helping stabalize their incomes as the weather changes extremes.
Due to the drought, agricultural communities have suffered.
“It’s having a huge effect on agriculture locally. This is harvest time,” Strickland said.
Strickland said that last October was one of the wettest years for North Carolina. With this year being one of the driest, the changes in weather are becoming more noticeable.
“The swings in weather extremes are really becoming apparent,” Strickland said.