The latest Drought Monitor map looks better than it did this time last year but a few more bright orange, deep red and brown spots have popped up in recent weeks, indicating that drought conditions are worsening—again—in parts of the state.
The Panhandle, a strip across the Rolling Plains near the Oklahoma State line, and a smudge in Southwest Texas, near the Big Bend, appear to be the driest areas in the state.
Much of East Texas is now considered out of drought status or merely “abnormally dry.” Several spots of white (no drought) appear across the state, mostly in the east, into Central Texas and over a fairly sizeable expanse in Far West Texas.
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The latest report indicates water storage has improved by 50,000 acre feet from last week (0.1 percent) in the reservoirs monitored by the Texas Water Development Board.
The numbers indicate that 45 percent of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought, up just a point from the previous week, down from 65 percent three months ago and off from the 74 percent mark of last year at this time.
Water level in monitored reservoirs stands at 64 percent full, up from 61 percent from the previous week, 60 percent three months ago and 67 percent from last year.
Normally water level in those reservoirs is at 80 percent at this time of year.
The most recent seasonal outlook indicates further development of drought through the end of April in the Panhandle and Far West Texas. Drought conditions should develop in the Northern gulf Coast area.