The most recent Texas Drought Report bears a striking resemblance to the one that came out a week ago. In fact, the latest is a carbon copy of the report released Oct. 6.
The same dark brown bands that indicate exceptional drought persist in the Texas rolling Plains and extend up into southwest Oklahoma. Also, the dark red areas, mostly in the High Plains but extending south and east into the rolling Plains and North Texas show no discernible difference over the past two reports. A small red spot in South Central Texas also remains in place.
Overall, the state remains at 49 percent in moderate to exceptional drought.
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Conditions could change for part of the rolling Plains next week following a band of storms that crossed the area over the Oct. 10-12 weekend. Reports indicate some heavy rainfall amounts and some damaging hail.
Mush of the state, however, has improved to abnormally dry to moderate drought status. Significant areas in East Texas, South Texas and Far West Texas show drought-free status. Reservoir storage also improved by 4 percentage points from Oct. 6 to Oct. 13.
The latest report also shows a “two-in-three chance of “weak El Niño conditions developing between Nov. and Jan.,” which should bring cooler and wetter conditions into the region.
The larger map shows much of the Texas High Plains, a large section of the Rolling Plains and Central Texas likely to see drought persisting or intensifying through October. That trend extends across much of the West, encompassing about half of new Mexico, most of Arizona and virtually all of Nevada, California and Oregon. The rest of the country appears to be entering a drought-free status with some areas showing “drought removal likely.”