US Drought Monitor and Summary, Feb. 2, 2016

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In Texas, January 2016 precipitation was about 62 percent of normal statewide. Consideration of various 2-6 month precipitation indicators supported the introduction of D0 to Tom Green County in west-central Texas, and the introduction of D0 to Nueces and San Patricio Counties (along the southern coast near Corpus Christi). These same precipitation indicators, and the occurrence of fairly substantial evaporation, supported the expansion of pre-existing D0 conditions across Starr and Hidalgo Counties in far southern Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 26, 2016

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Short-term dryness has led to some minor growth of Abnormally Dry conditions in west Texas (western Big Bend area) and in extreme southern Texas north of Brownsville in the McAllen area. The rest of the region remains unchanged this week with very little in the way of dryness or drought being shown over most of the country’s interior. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 19, 2016

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Outside of the coastal ranges from northern California up to the Olympic Peninsula (along with the Sierra-Nevada), much of the rest of the Lower 48 states had a dry week. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 12, 2016

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Portions of east Texas, east Kansas, southeast Nebraska, and the Texas Panhandle that were in the wettest part of the storm track got more than 200 percent of normal precipitation for the week. Temperatures were generally 3-6 degrees cooler than normal, as a good push of arctic air made it into the region. No changes were made in the High Plains or South on this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 5, 2016

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Dry conditions prevailed over much of the High Plains and the South region, with southern Texas the only area showing any changes for the week. After a very wet end to the year, drought is not a concern over much of the Plains and the South-Central states. Most of the abnormally dry conditions in south Texas were removed this week, with only a few small areas of dryness remaining. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 22, 2015

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The fronts that moved across the central part of the country dropped locally heavy precipitation across parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas, but were mostly dry from southeastern Nebraska to most of Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 15, 2015

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Light to moderate precipitation had little effect on the existing dryness and drought in a few spots in central and southern Texas, including the southern Big Bend region and a few small areas of abnormal dryness popped up along the Rio Grande River in southern Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 8, 2015

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Little if any precipitation fell last week, keeping dryness and drought unchanged in most areas. Abnormal dryness was removed from a few regions where prior precipitation eased conditions more than initially thought. Specifically, dryness was removed from southwestern Oklahoma and adjacent Texas, as well as north-central Oklahoma and adjacent Kansas. Both of these areas received 1.5 to 3.0 more precipitation than normal during the last 30 days. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 1, 2015

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This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw improvements in drought conditions across parts of the Midwest, South, Southern Plains, and portions of the West. Starting late last week, a broad, slow-moving frontal system impacted the Central and Southern Plains as well as Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Nov. 24, 2015

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A strong upper-level low pressure system funneled Gulf of Mexico moisture into the central U.S. at the beginning of this USDM week, triggering widespread heavy rains and severe weather. Two to 5 inches of rain fell on Nov. 17 from eastern Texas to Missouri eastward to Mississippi and Illinois. Abnormally Dry (D0) was removed from eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. The rain in southeast Oklahoma contributed to Broken Bow and Hugo Lakes returning to near- to above-normal pool stage. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Nov. 17, 2015

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Rains with the system at the end of the week fell where they were needed. Fueled with Gulf of Mexico moisture, the weather system dropped an inch or more of rain across northeast Texas and central to eastern Oklahoma. Parts of Oklahoma received over 2 inches of rain. D0 and D1 were trimmed or deleted in northeast Texas, eastern Oklahoma and Kansas. Areas of D0 and D1 were left where the rains were not as intense or were not enough to erase precipitation deficits that stretched back 2 months or more. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Nov. 10, 2015

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Moderate to heavy precipitation fell on most of this region. Most areas from the Mississippi/Ohio Confluence southward through the Lower Mississippi Valley, southeastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas reported at least an inch of precipitation, with 2 to locally more than 5 inches measured in a swath from southern Missouri into northwestern Arkansas, plus an area farther south extending from southeast Oklahoma and northeastern Texas eastward through southern Arkansas, much of Louisiana, and some parts of Mississippi outside the areas of abnormal dryness and moderate drought. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Nov. 3, 2015

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Extreme precipitation events seem to be the norm as a sudden end to the 3-month flash drought neared reality. Two swaths of copious rains produced flash and river flooding, with at least 5 fatalities in Texas. According to the Texas Water Development Board, statewide reservoirs stood at 82.1 percent full as of Nov. 4, continuing to climb after falling from 85 percent to 77 percent full during the flash drought. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 27, 2015

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Even before tapping into Hurricane Patricia’s moisture, the parent storm unleashed heavy rain on northwestern Texas. Storm-total rainfall exceeded 20 inches at a few locations in northeastern Texas, including Corsicana. Antecedent dryness prevented large-scale flooding, but downpours resulted in flash flooding and river rises. According to the Texas Water Development Board, statewide reservoirs collectively gained 1.6 million acre-feet (just over one-half trillion gallons) of storage—ending up 81 percent full for this time of year—during the week ending Oct. 28, after having lost 6.1 million acre-feet (and falling from 85 to 77 percent full) during the 3 months ending Oct. 21. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 20, 2015

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A sharp, 3- to 4-month drought has brought significant impacts to a broad area stretching from southern Oklahoma and central and eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta. In mid-October, a spell of extreme heat—accompanied by gusty winds and low humidity—caused further drought intensification and brought a rash of fires. During the next 5 days, a slow-moving storm system will provide significant drought relief but possibly cause flash flooding in the south-central U.S. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 13, 2015

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Although relief from moderate to heavy (2-5 inches) rains came to western and southwestern Texas this week, little or no rain once again fell on central and eastern Texas, and most of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi – as the lack of rain also held true for October to date. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 6, 2015

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After much of Texas and Oklahoma endured record May and June rains and flooding that quickly erased the long-term (hydrological) drought, dry and warm weather since early July has rapidly brought back short-term (topsoil) drought. As a comparison, the Madill, Okla., Mesonet station measured 43.61 inches of rain from April 1-July 8, and only 1.16 inches in the 89 days since then. In Texas, Muenster (Cooke County) recorded 41.67 inches during April 1-June 30, 4.40 inches July 1-Sept. 30, and only 1.91 inches since July 9. At the USHCN station Blanco (Blanco County), 8.55 inches fell on May 24, but only 0.48 inches since July 1 – so it seems likely that Blanco received as much rain in 14 minutes on May 24 as in the most recent 140,000 minutes, or 97 days. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 29, 2015

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Despite areas of beneficial rain in the west and along the Gulf Coast, the overall trend toward intensifying “flash drought” continued. Pronounced short-term dryness has also intensified over central and southern Oklahoma, where 60-day rainfall has totaled mostly less than 30 percent of normal. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 22, 2015

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Despite areas of beneficial rain in the north and west, the overall trend toward intensifying “flash drought” continued. After record-setting rainfall over central and eastern Texas in May, sharply drier weather over much of the state during the summer resulted in rapidly deteriorating conditions despite longer-term precipitation surpluses. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 14, 2015

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The week was mostly dry, though cool, in the South. Temperatures were 2-4 degrees below normal, with Texas being the lone exception. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 8, 2015

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Dryness and drought continued to intensify and expand in areas away from the immediate Gulf Coast, where moderate rains kept deterioration at bay. Dryness and drought also expanded a bit northward in southern sections of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 1, 2015

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Lots of relatively small-scale adjustments were made to the drought depiction in Texas and Oklahoma this week, primarily deterioration. An area of extreme drought (D3) was added to east-central Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 25, 2015

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Areas of moderate to heavy rain fell over portions of Texas (generally 0.5-4.0 inches, and 5.0-8.0 inch totals near the central Texas coast), which helped to alleviate severe short-term drought. This warranted a nearly complete overhaul of the drought depiction for the Lone Star state. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, 8-21-15

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Short term dryness has caused expansion of drought across much of Texas and eastern Oklahoma. Warmer-than-normal temperatures have exasperated the situation. In Oklahoma, it was reported that soil moisture levels were approaching lows that we had not seen since August 2012. Drought was expanded in the southeast corner of Oklahoma and introduced in the northern part. Elsewhere, temperatures were 2-4 degrees above normal this past week in much of Texas. Drought conditions were expanded in much of east central Texas while a portion of southern Texas continued its drought free status. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 14, 2015

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With the hot and dry conditions, rapidly developing flash-drought impacts were being reported over much of the region. Most areas of east Texas, Louisiana, southeast Oklahoma, and southern Arkansas showed a full category degradation for this week. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 4, 2015

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Many areas have seen less than half their normal rainfall over the past 2 months and less than 10 percent of their normal rains over the past 30 days. The quick-hitting, flashy nature of this developing drought across the region bears watching, given the time of year and the fact that the shorter-term forecasts don’t appear overly promising. Things can go downhill in a hurry this time of year and El Niño’s chokehold on tropical storm activity to date is only enhancing the dry signal. Of course, that same pesky culprit, El Niño, may well be the one that comes to the rescue this fall and winter given the stronger likelihood of a cooler and wetter winter across the Gulf Coast region. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, July 28, 2015

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Hot and dry weather continued across parts of eastern and southern Texas, increasing evaporation and the risk of wildfires. July 27 USDA NASS reports indicated rapid drying of topsoil and subsoil moisture in eastern and southern Texas and the Trans-Pecos. D0 was expanded across parts of eastern Texas, spots of D0 were added in southern Texas, and an oval of D1 introduced in northeast Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, July 21, 2015

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During the past week, the South was generally hot and dry. The only areas receiving rainfall (1 to 2 inches) were northern portions of the Texas Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas. The NWS WPC Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for the dryness to continue across most of Texas during the next 7 days. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, July 14, 2015

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During the past week, generally dry conditions prevailed across most of the region with the exception of some isolated pockets of heavy shower activity (4 to 8 inches) in west central and some lesser accumulations (2 to 3 inches) in the northwest Panhandle of Texas. In these parts, one-category improvements were made in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) as well as in the sole remaining area of Moderate Drought (D1) in the state. According to the NWS in San Angelo, Abilene already has broken the July rainfall record at 8.26 inches. Statewide, Texas experienced the wettest January through June period on record (1895–2015), according to NOAA NCEI. In Oklahoma, short-term improvements led to removal of the remaining areas of Abnormally Dry (DO) in the Panhandle Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 30, 2015

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This was a fairly dry week over the region, with just spotty precipitation along the foothills in Colorado, the Panhandle of Nebraska, and into southwestern South Dakota as well as west Texas. Except for the areas that received the most rain, temperatures were above normal in most places with departures of 2-4 degrees above normal. There were not any changes in the regional drought depiction this week. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 23, 2015

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Light to moderate rainfall, on the order of 0.5 to 1.5 inches, fell on most of the dry areas in the Plains, though little or no rain fell on dry areas from northern Kansas into southeastern New Mexico. There was further reduction in the D0 area still lingering in central Texas. Read more…

US Drought  Monitor and Summary, June 16, 2015

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Only a few areas of dryness and drought remain in the Great Plains following the deluges of the last 1 to 2 months. It was wet again this past week, with most sites from the western Dakotas and northern Nebraska southward through central and southeast Texas recording at least an inch of rain. The heaviest amounts (2 to over 6 inches) fell on portions of upper southeast Texas, and in a broad swath from northwestern Texas and most of Oklahoma northeastward through southern and east-central Kansas and eastern Nebraska. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 12, 2015

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The NCEI (formerly NCDC) May 2015 precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was the wettest May and month of any month in the 121-years of record keeping. State-wise, it was the wettest May in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. With those statistics, it is not surprising that nearly all drought from late March has been eliminated in the Plains, Midwest, and central Gulf Coast. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 5, 2015

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May 2015 was the wettest month ever in Texas, with 8.81 inches, and Oklahoma with 14.27 inches, incredibly ending the region’s long-term drought within 4-6 weeks and causing widespread flooding. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 26, 2015

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An extraordinarily active weather pattern led to flood intensification across the central and southern Plains, culminating in a Memorial Day weekend deluge. The latest round of heavy rain pushed Oklahoma to its wettest month on record, based on preliminary data, supplanting October 1941. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 19, 2015

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Nearly coast-to-coast storminess reduced drought’s footprint across the nation’s mid-section but triggered lowland flooding from the southeastern Plains and the western Gulf Coast region into the mid-South. By May 20, cumulative storage in Texas’ reservoirs climbed to 24.78 million acre-feet (78.5 percent of capacity)—the highest in more than 4 years. Only a month ago, Texas’ storage was 22.53 million acre-feet, or 71.4 percent of capacity. Six months ago, on November 20, 2014, storage stood at just 19.43 million acre-feet, 62 percent of capacity. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 12, 2015

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In Oklahoma and Texas, large-scale 1-2 category improvements were made after copious rains of 6-10 inches or more were recorded. Most areas in Texas and Oklahoma were good out to 24 months, but some residual dryness was still evident at 36 months. D4 has been completely eliminated from Texas and Oklahoma for the first time since July 2012. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 5, 2015

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Recent rains and the resultant short-term benefits (soil moisture, streamflows, rangeland conditions) means that the short-long term impact line has been pushed northward into the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and a bit eastward into western Oklahoma as well. Long-term drought hangover impacts are still noted in those areas falling under the long-term impact line designation, reflecting longer-term lack of deep soil moisture, tree stress, and below-normal groundwater and reservoir levels, which will need to continue to see recovery before this 5-year drought is truly broken. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, April 30, 2015

Improvements in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are based on reservoir recovery, while in the San Antonio area, they are based on aquifer recovery and various objective indicators. Reservoirs are lagging behind in central Texas. Short-term improvements were also rendered to the drought depiction in the Panhandle region. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for the week of April 14, 2015

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The Southern Plains experienced another week with relatively wet conditions. There were minor improvements in all drought categories in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southeast Kansas. Looking ahead, above-normal precipitation is expected from the Southern Plains across the South and Southeast. Drier conditions are expected across much of the West. Read more…