Farm Progress

97 percent of Texas remains in some stage of drought.Much of the Texas High Plains remains in either Exceptional—the worst category—or Extreme drought.Oklahoma moisture comes with heavy toll. 

Ron Smith 1, Senior Content Director

June 4, 2013

2 Min Read
The Texas Water Development Board shows Extreme and Exceptional drought remains in the Texas High Plains. Some other areas are improving but 97 percent of the state remains in drought status.

Despite recent rainfall, accompanied by damaging wind and hail in some locations, 97 percent of Texas remains in some stage of drought. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) reports that rain has improved drought conditions across all categories, but much of the Texas High Plains remains in either Exceptional—the worst category—or Extreme drought. Conditions continue to improve in East Texas, but exceptional drought conditions still hold in West and South Texas and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Recent rains also caused water levels in the Edwards Aquifer to rise some 17 feet, providing some needed relief.

Current conditions include: 97 percent of the state is currently in drought, the same as in the previous week but significantly higher than the 87 percent from three months ago and 91 percent last year.

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Reservoir levels have changed little and the current 66 percent full status is unchanged from last week and is 1 percentage point lower than three months ago. Last year at this time, reservoir levels were at 77 percent full.Normally, reservoirs are at 85 percent during this same period.

Recent reports from Oklahoma indicate much of the state has improved over the past two weeks, but improvement came with a huge toll in human life and destruction from devastating tornadoes. Much of the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma have experienced significant recharge of soil moisture, according to Oklahoma State University Extension livestock economist Darrell Peel.

Peel said drought continues to hang on in about one-third of the state. The drought line now extends approximately two to three counties in from the western border of the state, including the Oklahoma Panhandle and back into north-central counties along the Kansas border, he said.


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About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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