After several months of near normal rainfall over much of the Southwest the region is getting back to where it was in the fall of 2010, when the long drought began. The latest Texas Drought Report shows only 42.5 percent of the state in moderate to exceptional drought status. Oklahoma shows almost 60 percent of the state in moderate to exceptional status and New Mexico has no areas listed as exceptional drought and only a small sliver in the two counties in the northwest corner of the state in extreme drought.
Much of New Mexico’s southeast corner is drought-free. Most of the state ranges from moderate to severe with a good portion considered just abnormally dry. Most of the northeast quadrant of Oklahoma is considered drought-free extending well into east central, leaving only three or four southeast counties in abnormally dry status. Conditions deteriorate from central to western Oklahoma with the worst conditions still on the southwest corner near the Texas state line, where a significant area remains in exceptional drought. Most of the rest of the state is in severe drought status.
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The Texas High Plains and Rolling Plains continue to be the most drought-stressed areas of the state. Extreme drought spots show up in the northern section of the Panhandle with larger areas along the Southwest Oklahoma line and south near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The rest of the state is mostly in abnormally dry status with significant areas in east central Texas and the far west considered drought-free.
The Texas reservoir situation continues to lag. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) reports that reservoir conditions are much worse now than was the case in the fall of 2010, 62.2 percent full compared to 80.8 percent full when the drought began.
Across the U.S. Southwest and into the Far West, projections show drought likely to persist or intensify for a small portion of the Texas Panhandle, into New Mexico, covering most of Arizona and virtually all of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah.
Most of Texas shows that drought removal is likely, remains but improves, or continues to be drought-free.