Many droughts end in floods and February was no exception to that rule. 2018 started out among the driest on record. That trend quickly reversed itself in February across Northeast Texas, East Texas, and Southeast Texas. Data used in this update was collected at 6 AM on Tuesday. This drought update does NOT include the rains that fell on Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week’s update should bring more good news.
Not all the news was good. Flooding was an issue this last week across the D/FW Metroplex into Northeast Texas and East Texas. Folks in the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, the Permian Basin, Northwest Texas, south through the Big Country and Concho Valley missed out on appreciable rains. The state is divided between extreme drought and an overabundance of rainfall. If only we could ‘switch’ the pattern to bring rainfall to the west and a drying period to the east.
All signs of drought have been eliminated in the D/FW Metroplex, Texoma, Northeast Texas, East Texas, and Southeast Texas. Next week’s update should push that elimination line a bit farther west. The aerial extent of moderate to severe drought has been reduced across Central Texas and the Brazos Valley. An additional one-quarter to one inch of rain may fall near and east of Interstate 35 through early next week. Early spring-up of vegetation is beginning in some areas.
Severe to extreme drought conditions are not improving in the Texas Panhandle or West Texas. We didn’t see much expansion of those conditions this week, but no improvement either. Unfourtinietly no rainfall is expected in those regions through next week.
A particularly significant fire weather event may occur on Sunday as the dryline surges east in association with strong westerly winds. Surface fuels are bone dry and capable of releasing a high amount of energy. Any fires that develop in dangerous fire weather conditions could explode into devastating wildfires with ease. Sunday may be one of those days. Those in the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, into the Permian Basin, better keep an eye out.