The National Drought Mitigation Center released their weekly drought monitor. These weekly updates are focused on broad-scale conditions and local conditions may vary. Data for the drought monitor updates are updated weekly with the cut-off being Tuesday morning at 6 AM CST. They compile the data on Tuesday and Wednesday with the official outlook released every Thursday morning. Precipitation and conditions after the data cutoff at 6 AM Tuesday are not included in this update. They worked extra hard this week and had their products out yesterday, but the data set wouldn’t be any different if it were released today.

With the exception of Deep South Texas, we did not see appreciable rainfall over the last week in Texas. Rainfall totals over the last three months have been well below normal. Even portions Southeast Texas and the Coastal Plains are now starting to see abnormally dry conditions develop. 60 percent of Texas is now considered to be ‘abnormally dry’ with official drought conditions now impacting 20% of Texas. Texoma and Northeast Texas have seen severe drought conditions develop and expand over the last two weeks. Those with winter agricultural interests are probably not having a good time. Here is the full-text summary from Richard Tinker.

Drought Monitor for November 23, 2017

Negligible precipitation, if any, was observed in areas of dryness and drought from Missouri and Kansas southward through Texas and Louisiana. As a result, short-term dryness continued to intensify at a fairly rapid clip, particularly from central Arkansas and adjacent Oklahoma southward. D1 and D2 conditions expanded in southeastern Oklahoma, part of southern Arkansas, northeastern Texas, the northern half of Louisiana, and west-central Mississippi. More limited growth of D0 and a small D1 areas was assessed from central Kansas southward through central and western Texas. For the last 3 months, accumulated precipitation deficits exceed 8 inches in most areas across northeastern Texas, central and western Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southern Missouri; shortfalls one foot in a small part of west-central Arkansas.

Looking Ahead

Chance of below/above average rain November 29-December 3

Our weather pattern for the upcoming week will not change substantially. This continued dry-pattern looks to continue through much of next week. Vegetation has gone dormant from a freeze and/or from dry weather over the last several weeks. Additional drought development is expected with next week’s drought monitor update.

Chance of below/above rain December 1-7

Indications are that a pattern change could finally occur late next week. The Climate Prediction Center has placed the state in a neutral to the above-average probability for precipitation in the December 1 to December 7. Unfortunately, these outlooks are not a guarantee, so hopefully, we are able to squeeze out some measurable rain. Temperatures have a high probability of remaining above-average over the next two weeks. While we may see a few days of ‘cooler’ weather, the overall period looks to be quite warm.