Texas drought status has improved significantly over the past few months, thanks to rainfall and a few snow and ice storms across much of the region, but the percentage of the state remaining in moderate to extreme drought has been stuck at 39 percent for several weeks and some fairly large areas remain in dire straits.
Farmers and other ag watchers are hesitant to call the drought over, even in locations showing only abnormally dry conditions or currently considered drought free. They’ve seen changes come too quickly to start celebrating.
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Recent sunny, warm conditions did nothing to move the scale and 39 percent of Texas remains in drought status. That’s the same as a week ago, but a slight improvement from three months back when 44 percent of the state was considered in drought stress.
Last year at this time, 54 percent of the state was in moderate to exceptional drought.
The driest part of the state remains in the Rolling Plains down into North Texas where two significantly dry blots on the map indicate exceptional drought status. Surrounding those worst sections are areas considered in extreme drought and much of the Texas Panhandle remains in severe drought.
Far West Texas is now mostly drought-free as is most of Deep South Texas and most of East Texas. A small section in south Central Texas shows extreme to exceptional drought status.
Reservoir status changed little, as well. The weekly drought monitor report notes, “Statewide reservoir levels have remained remarkably flat over the past year. Under normal conditions, we’d expect storage volumes of 24 to 26 million acre feet, depending on the time of year.”
Currently, those levels are below well below 25, million, just at or barely edging above 20 million for most of the year.