Recent rain has helped, but Texas drought continues

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Some parts of Texas are feeling some relief from drought conditions after recent rain, but as summer winds down much of the state is still moisture deficient.

August did bring much-needed rain to parts of Texas, but many areas are behind annual average rainfall and that may not change anytime soon, according to state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon, Ph.D. at the Texas A&M College of Geosciences Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

“We’ve seen drought contraction across the state, and last week’s rainfall should show improvement in the upcoming drought monitor later this week,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “But the rain is over for now. It looks like we’re now entering a dry stretch and have seen all the improvement we are going to see for a while.”

The most recent Texas drought monitor map offers a look at how some parts of Texas, including the Dallas-Ft.Worth and Houston areas, are not having nearly the moisture deficiency other areas are.

In South Texas, numerous counties remain in Extreme Drought, including Bexar, Medina, Kendall, Blanco and Guadalupe. Two other counties, Hays and Comal, are now in Exceptional Drought.

The Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) ranges from 0-500 as it breaks down drought data for a given area, and the numbers show the Texas drought peaked at 380 in early August before dropping to 251 to begin September.

Nielsen-Gammon is expecting a La Niña weather pattern to hold through fall and winter, which often means below average precipitation and above-average temperatures for Texas.

The above-normal expectations for hurricanes and tropical storms could deliver moisture, but those storms typically bring destruction as well.