Color is creeping back into the Texas drought monitor map.
From a small yellow and orange-tinged area that developed along the eastern edge of the state several weeks ago, drought conditions are now showing darker colors—into extreme range—and extending further into the state, well into central Texas with abnormally dry conditions showing well into West Texas.
Drought status is up to 27 percent, two points higher than last week, according to the weekly Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) weekly report.
Severe drought has developed across much of East and Central Texas.
The dry conditions may not last long, the report indicates. “The latest diagnostic projects a 95 percent chance of El Niño conditions this winter. Computer models (are) suggesting wetter than normal conditions in Texas for October through December.”
Drought may return for the 2016 crop year, however. The models also show “El Niño conditions expected to strengthen this winter before rapidly falling off in the spring.”
The recent return to drier conditions reverses a trend that had been in place since late spring. Three months ago, drought status showed 0.53 percent of the state in drought conditions. This time last year, drought rating was at 58 percent of the state.