AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The amount of Texas experiencing drought conditions increased for the first time in eight weeks, according to the Texas Water Development Board’s Monday report for the week of Sept. 20. Further, the TWDB advised that additional increases are expected in the coming weeks due to weather conditions forecasted to be drier and warmer than usual.
According to map data released by the US Drought Monitor, the High Plains appeared to range from experiencing “abnormally dry” to “extreme” drought conditions as of the week of Sept. 20, with the majority of the area remaining within the “abnormally dry” to “moderate” drought condition range.
The area increase in drought coverage across Texas, according to the TWDB, was about one percent. A week ago, 59% of Texas’ surface area appeared to be experiencing drought conditions, in contrast to the most recent 60% estimation. However, the difference remained stark in comparison to the 81% report from three months ago.
Still, after the weeks-long decrease in drought conditions, TWDB noted in its report that the National Weather Service has forecasted a third fall and winter in a row that will have La Niña conditions. Because of that, TWDB said that officials are expecting warmer and drier weather, which will likely contribute to an increase in drought coverage across Texas.
The TWDB noticed that the conditions will likely appear similar to those seen in 2020 and 2021, with lower cumulative precipitation levels and higher average temperatures.
As drought conditions continue to fluctuate across Texas, water managers and regulatory groups have continued to work to gather data and strategize, on both local and regional levels, to ensure water access and quality for the state. In Amarillo on Tuesday, the city council is expected to discuss water rights policy measures for the community, and water districts and legislators more broadly have continued to prepare for the next state legislative session.
For the latest updates on local news, weather, and events, check with MyHighPlains.com.