Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exceptional Texas Drought Slightly Dented

Images (click to enlarge):
- Texas drought monitor for week ending October 11, 2011 from NOAA/USDA
- Weekly Texas drought conditions from July 2010 to October 2011, CapitalClimate chart from U.S. drought monitor data
- 24-hour precipitation ending 9 am CDT, October 9, 2011 from National Weather Service
- U.S. seasonal drought outlook, October 6 to December 31, 2011 from Climate Prediction Center/NWS

Long-awaited precipitation in the past week has put the first significant dent in the ongoing Texas extreme drought conditions, but 92% of the state remains in the extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) category. Exceptional drought, the highest category, has dropped from the peak of 88% of the state last week to 73% currently.

Rainfall in the past week as high as 8" in portions of north-central Texas were as much as 6 times the normal amounts, but larger quantities over a more sustained period are needed to continue reducing the extreme drought. Some 24-hour precipitation totals through 9 am CDT, Sunday, October 9, include:
Comanche          8.30”
Dublin 6.10”
Stephenville 5.78”
Cleburne 5.53”
Mineral Wells 5.14”
Goldthwaite 5.00”
Weatherford 4.79”
Breckenridge 4.77”
Hico 4.72”
Waco Lake 4.35”
Waco Airport 4.28”
Palo Pinto 4.00”
The current drought outlook, released October 6, shows drought persisting through the end of the year in most of Texas, with the exception of some improvement in the panhandle region and adjacent areas of Oklahoma. The outlook was published before the heavy rains of the past weekend, however.

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