The weekly drought monitor map from the Texas Water Development board (TWDB) shows more good news than bad.
The bad is the expansion of drought conditions farther into Central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley downstream from Del Rio.
Better news is a slight decrease in the percentage of the state in drought status, 23.5 percent compared to 25 percent last week. Also on the positive side of the ledger, Texas reservoir levels may have decreased slightly, down to 83 percent capacity, but that’s still above the average of 79 percent for this time of year.
Also, the El Niño expected to persist into fall offers hope for ample rainfall through December.
The latest TWDB report indicates that El Niño is following usual patterns. During the three-month period of July through September, the weather phenomenon favors conditions drier than normal in East and Central Texas with conditions wetter than normal in West Texas. That trend changes from October through December with the likelihood of conditions wetter than normal statewide.
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Overall, drought conditions have been mostly favorable for the past three months with only 5 percent of the state considered in moderate to exceptional drought three months ago. That compares to 61 percent of the state in drought status this time last year. And for several weeks this summer, the state was drought free.