US Drought Monitor and Summary, 8-21-15

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 4, 2015

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, July 28, 2015

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

U.S. Drought Monitor, July 14, 2015

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 region.

During the past week, temperatures were below normal in the western half of the region while eastern portions hovered near-to-slightly-above normal.

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 30, 2015

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought  Monitor and Summary, June 16, 2015

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

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US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 12, 2015

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.

In Texas, mostly dry weather aided flood recovery efforts to continue, allowing for a re-assessment of conditions with more stable reservoir levels that required some changes to the D0 areas in west-central Texas.

As of June 10, Texas monitored water supply reservoirs stood at 83.6 percent full, with some reservoirs still less than 40 percent full in Coke, Tom Green, and Mitchell counties – hence the lingering D0(L) near the San Angelo area.

Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 5, 2015

From droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

The incredible southern Plains drought relief continued this week, although the weekly rainfall amounts “decreased” from copious to heavy, and clear skies finally prevailed later in the period. Still, more than 2 inches of rain fell on parts of the Dakotas, western Nebraska, western and eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and most of Texas except for the Panhandle and southwest.

The week’s heaviest rains fell around the Dallas-Ft. Worth region, with locally up to 8 inches. Based upon estimated monthly state averages, May 2015 was the wettest month ever for Texas (8.81 inches) and Oklahoma (14.27 inches), breaking both the former state monthly records by several inches. This has alleviated long-term drought within 4-6 weeks, but unfortunately produced widespread severe flooding.

Monitored Texas water supply reservoirs were 83.4 percent full on June 3, whereas 6-months ago they were at 62.5 percent full. A few reservoirs in the Panhandle and west-central Texas were still below normal (where D0 and one small D1 area was kept), but nearly every reservoir in the eastern half of the state was close to capacity.

With the continued moisture, decreasing or eliminated long-term deficits, and increasing short-term surpluses, 1-category improvements were made across much of Texas, Oklahoma, western and southern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. Lighter rains fell in north-central Oklahoma.  Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 26, 2015

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.

In Texas, reservoirs were collectively 82 percent full by May 27, up from 73.2 percent a month ago and 62.5 percent 6 months ago. In the last month, reservoir storage in Texas has increased 2.77 million acre-feet.

Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 19, 2015

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 5, 2015

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

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

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 at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for March 30, 2015

Worsening drought in the north contrasted with heavy rain and drought reduction in the south and east. Across western Oklahoma and northern Texas, sunny skies, daytime highs approaching or topping 90°F, and occasionally gusty winds caused Moderate (D1) to Extreme (D3) Drought to intensify. Soil moisture and streamflow rankings remained at or below the 5th percentile in the southern plain’s core drought areas, while the satellite-derived Vegetation Health Index indicated rapidly declining conditions from the Texas Panhandle into northern Oklahoma. Farther east, locally more than an inch of rain afforded some relief from drought in northeastern Oklahoma. Farther south, additional assessment from the field indicated some reduction of Abnormal Dryness (D0) was warranted near Victoria, Texas, while drought coverage and intensity remained unchanged northwest of Austin as reservoir levels struggled to rebound due to a pronounced long-term drought impacts. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 24, 2015

Worsening drought in the north contrasted with heavy rain and drought reduction in the south. Across Oklahoma and northern Texas, most areas received less than 0.5 inch of rain during the monitoring period, which coupled with daytime highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s (degrees F) afforded no relief from drought. In areas where rain was sparse or non-existent, Severe to Exceptional Drought (D2-D4) expanded as streamflows continued to decline well below the 10th percentile. Soil moisture likewise rapidly diminished as the unseasonable warmth increased crop- and pasture-water demands. Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rain (1 to 4 inches) from southern Oklahoma into central and southern Texas reduced drought coverage and intensity, with the most notable improvements occurring between San Antonio, Texas, and the Big Bend. Despite the soaking rainfall, little change was made to the drought coverage and intensity northwest of Austin, where reservoirs levels struggled to rebound due to a persistent, pronounced long-term drought. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu..

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 17, 2015

Drought conditions in Texas were reduced in some areas, while other areas saw intensification this week. D0 and D1 conditions were trimmed back in the Coastal Bend and east Texas. Meanwhile, D2 and D3 conditions were expanded towards the south in central Texas due to the below normal reservoir levels which are less than 70 percent full in those areas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 3, 2015

In Texas, near-to-above normal precipitation during the past 60 days led to minor improvements in reservoir conditions in the north-central area, primarily in Dallas reservoirs, which are currently at 68.6% full, according to Water Data for Texas. In response, one-category improvements were made in areas of Exceptional Drought, Extreme Drought, and Severe Drought. In the Texas Panhandle, above normal precipitation during the last 60 days led to minor improvements in areas of Severe Drought and Moderate Drought. Overall, temperatures across the entire region were well below normal  during the past week. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Feb. 24, 2015

A major winter storm system moved across the Lower to Mid-Mississippi Valley and Southeast during the middle of this USDM week, followed by another system at the end of the week which moved out of the Southern Plains and across the Southeast. The storm systems mostly missed the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, which generally received less than half an inch of moisture. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 27, 2015

Most of Texas and southern Oklahoma recorded precipitation this week, but most other areas were dry. Temperatures were 2-6 degrees above normal over most areas except west Texas, which was 2-4 degrees below normal. Improvements to the drought status were made in southern and eastern portions of Texas in response to this week’s precipitation. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Jan. 13, 2015

20150113_usdm_homeModerate to locally heavy precipitation prompted patchy improvement across southern and eastern Texas, but it was a cold and dry week elsewhere, keeping dryness and drought predominantly unchanged. Some deterioration was noted in a few spots in northern Texas, including some D4 expansion into Hardeman and Foard Counties just southeast of the Panhandle. Precipitation since October 2014 has totaled less than 75 percent of normal across much of the Panhandle and in adjacent areas to the east, and 6-month totals below half of normal were noted in a few small areas in southwestern Oklahoma and the central Texas Panhandle. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 6, 2015

20150106_usdm_homeSignificant precipitation fell across southeastern Oklahoma and parts of Texas. A protracted winter storm brought damaging accumulations of freezing rain to portions of the southern High Plains Farther east, an area of heavy rain covered much of eastern Texas and the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. Despite the early-January rainfall, long-term precipitation deficits persisted across many areas of the southern plains, including northeastern Texas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 23, 2014

2-5 inches of rain fell along the western Gulf Coast (especially near Houston), providing some relief to D0-D2 areas near Victoria and Corpus Christi. To the west, D2-D4 was degraded by a category in north-central Texas as continuing short-term deficiencies and long-term drought impacts mounted, especially in Palo Pinto and Parker counties. Lake Palo Pinto was down to 9 percent full as of Dec. 23, down from 100 percent full in early 2012. In addition, the impact line was also adjusted to put this area in short and long-term drought (SL). Similarly in south-central Texas (small D3 area), Medina Lake was only 3.3 percent full, another good example that some areas of Texas have yet to recover from the long-term drought, even with occasional periods of wetness since it started in 2011. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Dec. 2, 2014

In Texas, drought impacts are mostly longer-term, and with temperatures generally cooler than normal, conditions are slow to change. One exception is over parts of northeast Texas, which have accumulated significant precipitation deficits (greater than 6 inches) over the last 90-days. This warranted a one-category degradation in the drought depiction, from abnormal dryness (D0) to moderate drought (D1), for the counties of Fannin, Lamar, Red River, and much of Bowie. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor for Nov. 18, 2014

Bitter cold — albeit dry — weather resulted in no change to the drought depiction except along the Texas Gulf Coast. Despite the frigid, mostly dry conditions, some Abnormal Dryness (D0) was reduced along the southeastern coast of Texas where rainfall totaled locally more than 2 inches. Short-term drought remained most intense (Exceptional Drought – D4) along the Texas-Oklahoma border west of Wichita Falls, where 90-day precipitation has totaled less than 50 percent of normal. In contrast, many of the long-term drought areas from Texas into Colorado have received above-normal precipitation over the past 90 days, but are still wrestling with the impacts of longer-term deficits. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Nov. 11, 2014

Heavy rains fell across the drought stricken regions of Texas, with rainfall totals exceeding 6 inches, prompting anywhere from a full 1-category improvement to minor reductions in drought. The restrained approach in the improvement was due to the drought being primarily long-term, defined by flows in large rivers and storage in major reservoirs, both of which showed little change with the recent rains. Dry conditions continue across southeast Texas, with D0 expanding slightly. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Nov. 4, 2014

Some reductions in drought intensity and coverage were made over the Texas Panhandle, partly due to recent rains and partly due to a reassessment of conditions in conjunction with the Texas state climatologist. Across central and eastern Oklahoma, recent rains (0.5 – 2.6 inches) prompted some small areas of 1-category reduction in drought. No changes were made across southeast Oklahoma. Read more…