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…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 9, 2014

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Many improvements were made this week, especially in west Texas and the Texas panhandle, where a full category improvement was observed. Some tropical moisture made it into far south Texas and improvements were made to the Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) areas this week. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 2, 2014

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Along the central and western Gulf Coast, locally heavy rainfall fell across coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas with some areas receiving five-to-ten inches helping to improve drought conditions in southeastern Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Aug. 26, 2014

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On the map, conditions across parts of Texas continued to deteriorate as below-normal precipitation, high maximum temperatures, reduced soil moisture, and low reservoirs led to expansion of areas of Moderate Drought (D1), Severe Drought (D2), and Extreme Drought (D3) in the North Central and Gulf Coast Plains regions. According to Water Data for Texas, Coastal Bend Area reservoirs are currently 35.3 percent full while the Rio Grande Region Planning Region reservoirs are currently 22.1 percent full. In contrast, the East Texas reservoirs are currently 96.4 percent full. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 19, 2014

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Rain prompted some improvement in central Oklahoma, central and part of northeastern Texas, and some small areas farther north. Looking ahead, enhanced chances for below-normal precipitation are restricted to the Northwest and southern Texas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 12, 2014

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Moderate rain was scattered with 0.5 inch or less falling on most of the upper Midwest, the central High Plains, southwestern Oklahoma, and central through northeastern Texas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Aug. 5, 2014

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Aside from some heavy showers in northern and eastern Texas, significant rainfall largely bypassed the Lone Star State in late July and early August. As a result, both topsoil and subsoil moisture was rated 67 percent very short to short on Aug. 3, according to USDA. Several degradations in the drought depiction were introduced in Texas, while USDA reported that rangeland and pasture “conditions began to deteriorate in areas of Edwards Plateau due to dry weather.” In addition, some producers in southern Texas “began to provide supplemental feed.” Read more…

US Drought Monitor, Jan. 29, 2014

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Cooler, showery weather late in the period helped to offset the effects of several hot days, resulting in only minor changes to the drought depiction. There were some improvements noted in a few areas, including Texas’ northern panhandle, where the coverage of extreme to exceptional drought was further reduced. A bit farther south, Lubbock received 10.46 inches of rain from May 1 to July 29, helping to dent the 30.47-inch precipitation deficit that accumulated from January 2011 – April 2014. On July 27, USDA reported that subsoil moisture was rated 65 percent very short to short in both Oklahoma and Texas. Rangeland and pastures have exhibited some recovery and are currently rated just 24 percent very poor to poor in Texas and 19 percent in Oklahoma. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, July 22, 2014

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Even after a dry 7-day period in much of Texas last week, 60-day precipitation is generally at or above normal in most of the state, along with Oklahoma. The issue, however, is to balance the short-term wetness with the long-term (multi-year) drought which has impacted hydrological interests. Taking this into consideration, 1-category improvements were made in most areas where this week’s rainfall exceeded 2 inches. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor for July 8, 2014

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A relatively narrow band of heavy rain was observed from near Lubbock to Wichita Falls in Texas, while a fairly concentrated area of heavy rain was reported from about Houston to Victoria in eastern Texas. About a dozen relatively minor revisions were made to the depiction in Texas this week, some degradations and some improvements. No changes were made in Oklahoma. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, July 1, 2014

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Texas had an unexpectedly wet week, with very heavy precipitation along the Gulf Coast and moderate to heavy precipitation in the interior East, supporting 1-category improvements. Relatively small alterations were made to the depiction in southern and far western Texas, both improvements and degradations.  In Oklahoma, widespread one-category improvements were made in the northern portion of the state, due to very heavy rains during the past 30-days. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 24, 2014

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Despite temperatures in the 90s, rainfall during the week was sufficient to warrant modest to significant reductions in drought from northern and central Oklahoma southward into Texas. Showers and thunderstorms dropped 2 to locally more than 4 inches of rain from the eastern Oklahoma panhandle southeastward into central Oklahoma and east-central Texas. Farther south, a slow-moving disturbance drifted north from northeastern Mexico along the Rio Grande River Valley, dropping moderate to excessive rainfall from Laredo to the western Edwards Plateau. Likewise, a separate area of showers and thunderstorms swept across Texas’ Trans-Pecos region later in the week. These two areas of rain resulted in notable decreases in drought intensity and coverage across southern and western Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 17, 2014

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Despite temperatures in the 90s, rainfall during the week was sufficient to warrant some modest reductions in drought from northern and central Oklahoma southward into central Texas, while hot, mostly dry conditions in western and northeastern portions of Texas led to small increases in drought intensity. Showers and thunderstorms dropped 1 to locally more than 2 inches of rain across much of central and northeastern Oklahoma, which – while not nearly enough to warrant widespread drought reduction or removal – were enough to improve pastures and summer crop prospects. In Texas, similar amounts of rainfall were reported from Lubbock southeast toward Waco and southward into Austin and San Antonio. Consequently, reductions in drought intensity were made in areas where the heaviest rain fell, although long-term Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for June 10, 2014

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Beneficial rains (0.9 – 2.7 inches) fell across much the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. The rains prompted the contraction of D4 (exceptional drought) across northern Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, while D3 (extreme drought) was trimmed from the Oklahoma panhandle and southeastern Colorado. Subsoil conditions across Oklahoma and Texas are still quite dry with 71 and 59 percent of the reports indicating Very Short or Short of Moisture conditions, respectively. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, June 3, 2014

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There were some new assessment tools available for Texas this week, and based on a substantial amount of added information, almost the entire state was redrawn, though Drought Monitor change was limited to 1 category in most of the state. Exceptions included some of the wet areas in the east, and a re-evaluated area in west-central Texas which has received significantly more relief than has been previously indicated. Read more…

National Drought Summary for May 27, 2014

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Texas experienced widespread improvements in Exceptional (D4), Extreme (D3), and Severe (D2) Drought largely throughout the central part of the state and the Panhandle. Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) also decreased, mainly in the eastern part of the state. Oklahoma likewise experienced an improvement mostly in Exceptional (D4) and Extreme (D3) Drought throughout the center of the state. Read more…

National drought summary for May 20, 2014

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Locally heavy rain came to the South early in the Drought Monitor week. Areas of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas benefitted. Areas of Abnormal Dryness (D0) were removed from southern and eastern Texas. Mounting deficits saw degradation of drought conditions in western and central Texas. Areas of Exceptional Drought (D4) expanded in central Texas where lake and stream levels are exceptionally low, water supplies are dwindling, and water restrictions are the norm. With some places going months without appreciable precipitation, degradation was in line in most locations in Oklahoma, with the exception of the extreme southeast part of the state. Areas of Exceptional (D4), Extreme (D3), Severe (D2), and Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) expanded eastward this week in Oklahoma. Read more at Read more…

US Drought Monitor, May 16, 2014

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Oklahoma also felt those hotter temperatures along with some below-freezing readings late in the period, leading to more damage to the winter wheat crop, which has felt the brunt of a cold winter and coinciding drought. However, heavy rains did fall across the southeast corner of the state, bringing some 1-category improvement there. In Texas, scattered totals of 2 to 4 inches fell across northeastern and eastern counties this past week, leading to some relative improvement with a push west and south of D0-D3 in these areas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor, May 9, 2014

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After seeing some spotty wet stuff last week, virtually the entire region went bone dry, and triple-digit heat was returning to parts of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle regions as of early this week. This is not the recipe for recovery as the calendar pushes toward summer. What winter wheat wasn’t damaged or killed off by recent hard freezes was left to bear the brunt of the heat and dryness this week, with little in the way of relief on the horizon. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu

US Drought Monitor for April 29, 2014

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All of the drought categories expanded across parts of Texas, resulting in D4 covering virtually all of the Texas panhandle, and D3-D4 expanded in northern Oklahoma. 1+ inches of rain resulted in the shrinkage of D0 in eastern Oklahoma, while similar rainfall amounts in southwest Oklahoma had virtually no effect on alleviating long-term deficits. April 27 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports indicated that 78 percent of Texas and 72 percent of Oklahoma topsoil was short or very short of moisture. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…