Drought in East Tennessee is Knoxville’s worst on record so far, National Weather Service says
Dry conditions have heightened fire risk and caused several wildfires to break out across East Tennessee.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The drought conditions have worsened for all of East Tennessee with the latest update coming from the National Weather Service on Thursday.
The Exceptional Drought category, which is the highest intensity, has expanded into a good portion of East Tennessee. Parts of Knox, Anderson, Roane, Loudon, McMinn and Monroe Counties are now in an Exceptional Drought.
According to the National Weather Service, the last time East Tennessee was in an Exceptional Drought was in late September 2016. The Exceptional Drought started in the Chattanooga area and spread northeast towards Knox County in October and November of that same year. The last time Knox County was in an Exceptional Drought was November 22, 2016, right before the Gatlinburg Wildfires.
East Tennessee has seen plenty of wildfires this year as well, especially during this latest dry spell. Several broke out in Anderson County, the Cherokee National Forest and Cumberland County, with some damaging homes or prompting evacuations.
Due to the dry conditions, several counties, including Knox, have implemented open burning bans.
Previous Coverage: Open burning banned in Knox County as East Tennessee sees more wildfires
From Sept. 1 of this year through Nov. 15, the Knoxville Airport recorded 1.07 inches of rain. This is the driest fall since 2016 when the rainfall amount was 1.60 inches. The National Weather Service says this is the driest Fall recorded so far for Knoxville.
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