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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for April 7, 2015

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Severe (D2), Extreme (D3), and Exceptional Drought (D4) expanded around the Texas panhandle and adjacent areas, extending into central Oklahoma. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for March 30, 2015

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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 to Extreme Drought to intensify.  Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 24, 2015

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Moderate to heavy rain 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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 20, 2015

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 10, 2015

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With rains of up to 6.51 inches reported across eastern Texas, drought conditions have improved, so some of the D0-D3 areas were trimmed back across northeastern Texas. Across southeastern Texas, recent rains prompted the removal of severe drought (D2) and some trimming of the moderate drought (D1) and abnormal dryness (D0). Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 3, 2015

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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

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Feb. 20, 2015

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Precipitation was below normal (half an inch or less) across most of the Great Plains, except portions of Texas and southeast Oklahoma which received an inch or more of precipitation. D0-D3 expanded in southwest Texas to the Texas panhandle due to re-evaluation of data. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Feb. 10, 2015

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During the past week, generally dry conditions prevailed across most of the region with the exception of some light shower activity (less than one inch of accumulation) along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Temperatures across the region were well above normal in the western portions of Texas, while southeastern Texas experienced below-normal temperatures. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Feb. 3, 2015

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Most of the Gulf Coast was dry for the week as well as east Texas. Areas of Oklahoma into the Texas panhandle did have a wet week with the storm that came out of the southwest. Some slight improvements were made to the D4 conditions in the Texas panhandle as well as slight reductions of D0, D1, and D2 conditions. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 27, 2015

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 20, 2015

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South of the Texas Panhandle, precipitation has been variable lately, and drought designations have likewise improved at some places and times, and deteriorated in others. But short-term conditions have averaged much closer to normal across the region as a whole, with precipitation shortfalls observed on time scales of 6 months to multiple years. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Jan. 13, 2015

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Moderate 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

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Significant 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

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 16, 2014

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Minimal or no precipitation fell on western and southern sections of Texas, and some slight deterioration in drought was warranted in Texas in the northwestern Panhandle, along the southeastern coast near Matagorda Bay, and northeast of Houston. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 9, 2014

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Most of the region was dry this past week, with the exceptions of the eastern Panhandle of Oklahoma, eastern and southeastern Oklahoma, and a few locales near the Texas Coast. Short-term dryness is emerging across parts of northeast and southeast Texas, and in the Panhandle. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Dec. 2, 2014

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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 and Summary for Nov. 25, 2014

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Moderate to heavy rainfall (1 to 6 inches) was noted across much of central and eastern Texas, with the highest concentration of heavy rain near San Antonio and Austin. Consequently, there were widespread reductions to drought intensity and coverage in the areas where rain was heaviest. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor for Nov. 18, 2014

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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

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Nov. 4, 2014

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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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 28, 2014

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A week of above-normal temperatures coupled with dryness again brought concerns to the region that the long-term drought conditions will remain. Temperatures were 9-12 degrees Fahrenheit above normal over most of Oklahoma and north Texas while other areas were generally 6-9 degrees Fahrenheit above normal this week. Most of the region was dry, with weekly departures of up to 1.50 inches below normal over east Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 24, 2014

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Heavy rain moved through the Plains last week and improvements in drought conditions were reflected then. This week was a relatively dry week in the region. There was a slight expansion of Extreme Drought (D3) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) in Texas during this Drought Monitor week as areas of the Texas panhandle and central Texas have missed beneficial rains. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 14, 2014

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Texas was a mixed bag this week, with rains improving things by 1 category in the eastern portion of the state (in general), but warm and dry conditions leading to degradation, with expansion of D1-D3 sneaking back in across south Texas. North-central Texas has also fared a bit better of late, and this is reflected in a slight trimming of D2-D4 in this part of the state and along the Red River border with Oklahoma. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 7, 2014

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All but eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas missed out on any substantial precipitation last week while above-normal temperatures returned for most locales across the region, including most of Arkansas. Rains in eastern Texas led to some slight trimming of the southern Abnormally Dry (D0) flank, but all other changes in Texas and Oklahoma were for the worse across south-central Oklahoma along the Red River and in north-central Texas along with the Panhandle, where the past 60 days have brought less than 50 percent of normal rains coupled with temperatures running 2-4 degrees above normal. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 30, 2014

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An inch or more of rain fell in parts of the South, with locally 3 inches or more in western and southern Texas. These rains, and rains from previous weeks, helped replenish soil moisture and refill reservoirs, so D0-D3 were contracted in the west and south. On a statewide basis, little change occurred in the topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions, with 53 percent of topsoil and 61 percent of subsoil in Texas short or very short of moisture, and 31 percent of the pasture and rangeland in poor to very poor condition. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 23, 2014

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There were several reports of 5 inches or more of rain in parts of southeast, central, and west Texas for the week, resulting in contraction of D0-D3. Rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Odile significantly improved reservoirs in west Texas, with Guadalupe Mountains National Park reporting a total of 13.58 inches of rain and Gail (in Borden County) reporting 18.24 inches. On the other hand, continued dryness in northeast Texas and central to western Oklahoma resulted in expansion of D0-D3 in those areas Read more at the US Drought Monitor…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept 16, 2014

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Locally heavy rain came to the Southern Plains during this Drought Monitor week. Areas from southeastern New Mexico and into western and northern Texas benefited. Texas also experienced improvements along the southern Gulf Coast. Central Texas saw some degradation in drought conditions as did the coastal area around Houston. Read more…