Heavy rainfall last week allowed for the removal of drought conditions across Texoma, the D/FW Metroplex, and all of Northeast Texas, East Texas, and Southeast Texas. Quite the opposite of a drought in fact. Flooding was a problem and rivers continue to have elevated discharge. Those across the rest of Texas are reading the previous statements and wondering what I’ve been drinking. It has now been four months since appreciable rainfall fell across the Texas Panhandle and West Texas. Winter wheat that was not irrigated is likely a total loss. Moderate, severe, to extreme drought conditions continue across fifty-four percent of Texas.
One Month Comparison
A one-month comparison of the drought monitor shows significant improvements across North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas. That tends to happen when February ends up being among the wettest on record. South Texas has seen a one to two class degradation in drought categories. The remainder of Texas has seen minor to no changes in the last month. For those in extreme drought conditions, no changes are no good.
Upcoming Rainfall Forecast
No rainfall is expected over the next week across the western half of Texas. At least one storm system may bring the chance for scattered storms on Saturday east of Interstate 35. The majority of the heavier activity should be east of Texas or out in the Gulf of Mexico. One-tenth of an inch up to one-half inch of rain may occur over the coming week. These totals will not be enough to cause widespread flooding. Given the last several days have been dry, flash flooding is not expected either. A couple storms may approach severe limits on Saturday across Northeast Texas if the capping inversion can be overcome.
Drought Monitor Summary
This week’s drought monitor summary was written by Richard Tinker with the Climate Prediction Center/NOAA.
Moderate rains ended D0 conditions in central Mississippi and adjacent Louisiana, and across northwestern Arkansas. Farther west, further improvements were made in the eastern half of Oklahoma as a result of the heavy February precipitation. Small adjustments were made across southern and central Texas, but continued dryness with periods of strong winds and low humidity led to broad deterioration from the Texas Panhandle and northeastern New Mexico northeastward into the central Plains. This resulted in broad D3 expansion across western sections of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, and much of northeastern New Mexico. These areas received less than 10 percent of normal precipitation during the last 90 days and generally under half of normal precipitation since late autumn. Unirrigated winter wheat in the Texas Panhandle and adjoining areas is almost a total loss.