AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – While the total area of Texas impacted by drought increased for the fourth week in a row, according to the most recent report from the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Panhandle and High Plains saw drought conditions completely disappear as far south as Lubbock.
According to the “Water Weekly” report for the week of July 17, 31% of Texas was considered to be under drought conditions compared to 27% one week ago.
Although drought conditions ebbed from the Panhandle, they re-emerged in South Texas and expanded in many other parts of the state. As noted by the report, nearly 40% of Texas remains vulnerable to drought development in the coming weeks.
The most recent drought map of Texas showed that the most intense drought conditions were recorded in the Fredericksburg area around Gillespie, Kendall, and Kerr counties, which all reported “extreme” and “exceptional” drought levels.
“Drought conditions have continued to improve in the Panhandle in the last few weeks, eliminating drought from that part of the state,” said Wentzel in the most recent Water Weekly report, “But drought remains firmly entrenched in Central and West Texas. And parts of the upper coast, north central, and South Texas have slipped back into drought.”
Although drought conditions across Texas remained nowhere near as dire or widespread as the 59% of three months ago or the 94% drought coverage of last year, the drought expansion remained in line with recent forecasts from the TWDB.
Hydrologists such as Dr. Mark Wentzel of the TWDB and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest seasonal forecast reported expecting drought expansion throughout the current unusually hot summer season. Little relief is expected for the majority of the Lone Star State until fall and winter.