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…