With all the active weather the past couple of weeks I haven’t had the time to sit down and post a detailed drought update. That in itself is good news because that means we’ve had several rounds of precipitation events over the past couple of weeks including in areas that need rain. There has not been much change this week in drought designations across Texas. There has been a small drop in those under severe, extreme, and exceptional drought categories. That means some areas have been upgraded (say from D4 to D3, D3 to D2, D2 to D1) which is the result of rain over the past week. As a whole though nearly ninety percent of Texas is in drought conditions which is a increase from just below eight nine percent last week. East Texas remains in the best shape with little to no drought outlined. Northwest Texas and the northern Texas Panhandle continue to remain in the exceptional drought category. Nevertheless this graphic looks better than it did a month ago. The good news is we continue to head towards an El Neno (possibly a strong one) which typically results in above-average precipitation across Texas. The problem is we may not end up in that more rainy pattern until the fall/winter months. Still we continue to see signs of rain during the next week. While it won’t break the drought it certainly is better to get a little rain verses none at all.
You’ll notice in graphic below that much of Texas has shown an improvement in drought categories over the past month while the Rio Grande Valley and the El Paso region have shown increasing drought conditions. The good news is we’ll see the monsoon season pick up over the next month which should help the El Paso area a bit. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some rain down into the Rio Grande Valley as well. We’re still in a historic drought across Texas but compared to the last three years we’ve been lucky with the rain over the past month. Here’s hoping the luck continues into the end of June!
Here is a discussion to go along with the above graphics from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Despite temperatures in the 90s, rainfall during the week was sufficient to warrant some modest reductions in drought from northern and central Oklahoma southward into central Texas, while hot, mostly dry conditions in western and northeastern portions of Texas led to small increases in drought intensity. Showers and thunderstorms dropped 1 to locally more than 2 inches of rain across much of central and northeastern Oklahoma, which – while not nearly enough to warrant widespread drought reduction or removal – were enough to improve pastures and summer crop prospects. In Texas, similar amounts of rainfall were reported from Lubbock southeast toward Waco and southward into Austin and San Antonio. Consequently, reductions in drought intensity were made in areas where the heaviest rain fell, although long-term impacts continue (i.e. reservoir storage and ground water supplies) despite recent 60-day surpluses. Rain largely bypassed the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, where 90-day rainfall averaged 35 to 55 percent of normal at the end of the period; Severe (D2) to Extreme (D3) drought was increased to reflect the deteriorating conditions. Likewise, temperatures approaching or exceeding 100°F (locally as high as 108°F) in Texas’ Trans-Pecos region coupled with 6-month deficits approaching or exceeding 3 inches (locally less than 20 percent of normal) led to increases in Moderate Drought (D1) in western-most portions of the state.