This week’s drought summary
Heavy precipitation fell on areas of dryness in the Northeast, the southern and northern Plains, the northern Rockies, northern Intermountain West, and Pacific Northwest, and more-scattered areas in the mid-Atlantic Region and Florida. Enough rain fell on some extant areas of dryness and drought here to improve drought designations, including parts of the D3 and D4 areas in central to southern Texas. In contrast, the D3 to D4 areas in the rest of the Plains and the northwestern Florida Peninsula and recorded little or no precipitation, keeping extreme to exceptional drought in place with a few areas of deterioration, especially in central Nebraska and the northwestern Florida Peninsula.
Locations from eastern Texas and Oklahoma eastward through Mississippi and Tennessee remained free of any designation on the Drought Monitor, though a number of areas reported that short-term dryness – on the order of a few weeks – was becoming noticeable over northern stretches of this area. Thus dryness and drought were again limited to areas near the Gulf of Mexico and over central and western sections of Texas and Oklahoma.
Heavy rain eased dryness-related impacts over much of central and southern Texas. Several inches of rain in eastern parts of Deep South Texas allowed for 2-category improvements, with much of the area going from D1 last week to no designation this week. Still, large areas of D3 and D4 remained over central and western parts of Texas and Oklahoma, with more limited reductions occurring in these areas. But enough rain fell to pull D4 out of Bexar County, Texas.
To the north and west of central Texas, little or no rain fell this past week to the 8 am EDT April 25 valid period of the Drought Monitor, keeping conditions essentially unchanged in most areas, though some degradation was noted in small sections in west-central and northern Texas. Most of the northern tier of Oklahoma remains entrenched in exceptional (D4) drought, in addition to a few scattered areas farther south. According to the Department of Agriculture, 63 percent of Oklahoma winter wheat was in poor or very poor conditions, as was 55 percent of Texas winter wheat.