As of this week nearly a third of Texas was completely out of drought conditions. That’s the highest number we’ve seen in at least a year. While Southwest Texas and extreme Southwest Texas are not in drought conditions a majority of the state continues to experience a long-term drought. The worst drought classification currently resides over western North Texas and Northwest Texas where an exceptional drought continues. While snow did fall on Sunday across parts of the region the liquid equivalent was less than a tenth of an inch which is barely a drop in the bucket. Moderate to severe drought conditions continue across Northeast, Central, and South-Central Texas plus the Hill Country and Panhandle. The good news is we’re expecting at least one inch of widespread rain to fall over North Texas by this weekend which will fill a small hole in a very large crater. It’s better than no rain though. Here’s a summary that accompanied this week’s Texas drought monitor.
Southern Plains and Texas
Bitter cold — albeit dry — weather resulted in no change to the drought depiction except along the Texas Gulf Coast. Temperatures averaged 15 to 25°F below normal for the week, with some shallow snow noted over northern portions of the region at the end of the monitoring period. Despite the frigid, mostly dry conditions, some Abnormal Dryness (D0) was reduced along the southeastern coast of Texas where rainfall totaled locally more than 2 inches. Short-term drought remained most intense (Exceptional Drought – D4) along the Texas-Oklahoma border west of Wichita Falls, where 90-day precipitation has totaled less than 50 percent of normal. In contrast, many of the long-term drought areas (“L” designation) from Texas into Colorado have received above-normal precipitation over the past 90 days, but are still wrestling with the impacts of longer-term deficits (60-80 percent of normal over the past three years).