The weekly drought monitor update was released earlier this morning. Unfortunately over 65 percent of Texas is now abnormally dry or worse. The official drought designation now covers nearly 40 percent of the state. This rapid drought development has been caused by months of very dry to record dry conditions. If there is a piece of good news it is that many lakes were filled by the May rains. Current drought impacts are most severely felt by agricultural interests and fire departments due to an increase in wildfire related activity. Severe to extreme drought conditions exsist across Central Texas north to to the Red River and encompass Northeast and East Texas.
Over the past seven days parts of the Permian Basin and Big Country received a quarter to locally one inch of rain. The activity across Southeast Texas along South Texas adn the Rio Grande Valley received a trace to a quarter inch of rain. Northwest Texas along with North Texas received pockets of rain as well. Overall most locations received average or below average precipitation over the past week.
The eastern two thirds of Texas are not expected to receive measurable precipitation over the next five days. A storm system will begin to impact the Texas Panhandle and Far West Texas on Friday Night. Rain chances will increase with the arrival of that system along with another reinforcing shot of cooler air. Rain chances will remain relegated to those areas on Saturday but a few sprinkles could make it into Northwest Texas. For the most part a quarter to half inch of rain accumulation will be possible across Far West Texas and the Texas Panhandle over the next five days. Localized amounts up to one inch could occur across Far West Texas generally west of the Interstate 10/20 split.