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Drought Worse Than 1950s Record
By Chris Martin
AMARILLO -- Plenty of people have looked at this spring's dust storms and thought another Dust Bowl is going on right now. As far as a lack of rain, that's pretty much true.
The previous worst drought on record was from October of 1951 to April of 1955, when Amarillo received about 44 inches of rain. Compare that to the latest drought from October 2010 to April of this year, and we've only picked up just over 39 inches.
Kristen Scotten, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the Amarillo National Weather Service office told us that the wet weather is welcome, but we'll need more.
"It's going to have an instant impact especially for the farming and agricultural community. Unfortunately, it's not even going to put a dent in this exceptional drought that we've been experiencing since 2011," said Scotten.
A couple of years of consistently average or above average precipitation would break our drought.
KAMR NBC4's Chief Meteorologist John Harris said that breaking the drought in the late 90s was a bit more simple.
"I would say it's probably more of just a normal pattern setting up. We weren't in a La Nina, we may have been making our way toward an El Nino and that helped out to some degree, we had the monsoon over us," said Harris.
Heavy rainfall in the Texas Panhandle normally comes from our severe weather season, which has been pretty benign this year. The possibility for an El Nino to develop is better for the latter half of 2014, which would increase our moisture chances in the winter and next year.
As far as the dust storms are concerned, we have had several this year but not nearly as many as those that happened during the Dust Bowl.
Typically our rainy season comes in the late part of June and stays around until August or September, but too much rain at one time on our dry soil will cause flash flooding easily.