As Southwest summer’s typically go, this one doesn’t seem to be starting off too typically, at least not compared to many of the recent early summer weather patterns.
Latest available drought monitor maps from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico indicate the region is all but drought free. Texas shows 1 percent of the state rated in drought, with five small areas scattered in Northeast and Central Texas showing only moderate drought. The drought monitor rates a few areas across the state as abnormally dry, but the vast expanse of Texas remains white—drought free—on the drought monitor map.
Current rating compares to 4 percent in moderate drought last week, 5 percent three months ago and zero percent drought at this time last year, showing a prolonged trend of adequate moisture occasionally interrupted by short dry spells.
Oklahoma is rated drought free in the latest drought monitor map available, with only a few small spots in the Southwest corner, South Central and the Southeast corner considered abnormally dry.
Three counties in southwest New Mexico are considered in moderate drought. Those three are enclosed within a larger area, encompassing about a dozen counties, considered abnormally dry. A small sliver of one county on the Texas State line in Southeast New Mexico is the only other spot considered abnormally dry. Overall, the map shows only 6.5 percent of the state in moderate drought status. Moderate drought is the most severe rating in the three states. New Mexico showed 36 percent rated in drought status at this time last year.
The Climate Prediction Center expects the El Niño Southern Oscillation to remain neutral through the rest of the year.