Compared to the past few years the current drought monitor maps appear rather dull, mostly white with patches of yellow, orange and a few blots of red scattered across the Southwest.
But those darker-hued sections appear to have increased in size and intensity over the past few weeks and show a significant change from mid-summer when almost all the region was considered drought free.
Texas now shows 30 percent of the state in moderate to extreme drought with the driest areas in the northwest corner of the state and one large area of extreme drought located in East Central Texas. Far West Texas and the High Plains remain mostly drought-free or in abnormally dry conditions.
Fingers of severe drought extend from East Texas well into the Southern Blacklands and across Southwest Texas to the Mexico border.
Reservoir storage has also declined for ten straight weeks, which is not unusual for summer, according to the Texas Water Development Board.
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New Mexico moisture conditions remain good across the eastern half of the state where all but a few small abnormally dry sections are drought-free. Most of the western half of the state is considered abnormally dry with a small area near the Arizona state line extending from midway of the line to nearly the northern boundary with Colorado rated in moderate drought status.
A recent trip into southwest New Mexico showed some recent rainfall but still in need of moisture.
Oklahoma’s map shows one small spot of extreme drought in the most Southeastern tip of the state with severe to moderate drought extending westward through the southeastern counties. One small spot in southwest Oklahoma, near the Texas border, is considered in severe drought. The rest of the state is rated abnormally dry to drought-free.