AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Although more than half of the counties around the Texas Panhandle were under active and renewed burn bans due to dry and windy fire weather headed into the last days of October, the state as a whole reported an overall improvement in drought conditions for the sixth week in a row.

According to the most recent “Water Weekly” report from the Texas Water Development Board, drought conditions in Texas as of the week of Oct. 23 were impacting 74% of the state, a slight improvement from the 75% impacted in the previous week’s report. That most recent data also marked a significant improvement from the drought’s latest peak, when 86% of the state was found to be experiencing drought conditions on Sept. 5.

On the High Plains, the TWDB reported that most of the Texas Panhandle remained in “dry” or “moderate” drought conditions in the latter half of October, with parts of the west-central counties experiencing “severe” drought conditions and Hardeman County under “extreme” drought conditions.

The TWDB said that Texans should expect the drought to continue to ease away in the coming weeks, as the state enters November and a season more favorable toward drought recovery in the region, expected to be further helped by El Niño weather conditions.

In the recently updated seasonal drought outlook from the National Weather Service, noted the TWDB, most of Texas was forecasted to see drought improvement and/or removal through the end of January 2024. As previously reported on, the NWS forecasted that Texas has a higher likelihood of experiencing increased precipitation through the start of next year. These chances have been boosted by the presence of the El Niño weather phase, which has been forecasted to reach peak strength in the winter season.

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