Heavy rains last week helped bring an improvement in drought conditions across Northeast, East, and Southeast Texas. The weekly update from the National Drought Mitigation Center has removed official drought classification from those areas. Some improvement is also noted across North, Central, and South Texas where the drought intensity has been reduced. Exceptional drought conditions continue across portions of the Texas Panhandle into Northwest and western North Texas. We also note exceptional drought conditions in the Hill Country. Abnormally dry conditions or worse continue across the Big Country, Concho Valley, Texas Coastal Plains, and Southwest Texas. Even though we’ve seen some improvement in drought conditions we’ll see conditions rapidly worsen once again if no additional precipitation is received. While we may see some improvement this spring I expect our multi-year drought to continue for the remainder of 2015.

The National Drought Mitigation Center had the following statement with this week’s update. “With rains of up to 6.51 inches reported across eastern Texas, drought conditions have improved, so some of the D0-D3 areas were trimmed back across northeastern Texas. Across southeastern Texas, recent rains prompted the removal of severe drought (D2) and some trimming of the moderate drought (D1) and abnormal dryness (D0).”

Looking in the extended range through mid to late March it looks like we’ll remain in a relatively active weather pattern. A borderline weak El Nino has finally developed and may be playing a role in our recent active weather. The Climate Prediction Center has most of Texas in an area of increased precipitation potential over the next two weeks. We may also end up seeing cooler temperatures down the road but at this time nothing bitterly cold is expected.