Over 90% Free Texas Drought Map, Rising Lake Levels

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Until very recently, maps detailing drought conditions across Texas were marked in orange and brown hues thanks to years of low rainfall – but that is no longer the case.

National Weather Service meteorologists said a largely blank map “has (never) looked better” on Friday after weather officials said Texas was more than 94% drought-free.

Data from Thursday, August 5, 2021 showed that 94.72% of the state did not have drought conditions after about a decade from the The 2011 drought that left much of Texas parched.

“People who are looking for additional precipitation – it has been quite beneficial to them,” said Pat O’Quinn, NWS meteorologist for the West Central Texas region. “We have been very lucky the last few months with a lot of humidity and some disturbance, which has resulted in widespread (rain).”

The National Weather Service has reported that Texas is nearly 95% drought-free, according to figures as of Thursday, August 5, 2021.

The numbers improved rapidly from a year ago, when just over 58% of Texas was “unusually dry.” At the start of 2021, about 8% of the state was drought-free, and within 3 months that figure had risen to 33.23%.

Precipitation has also helped lakes and reservoirs across Texas, with many water bodies 70-90% filled with Abilene at the Louisiana border, according to waterdatafortexas.org.

The western part of Texas, including Amarillo, San Angelo, and San Antonio, had lake levels ranging from 5% at OC Fisher Lake to 99.9% at Alan Henry Lake.

Texas is 94% drought-free due to heavy rains statewide, which benefited the lake levels, as this map from Water Data for Texas shows.

What will the weather be like in Texas in the coming months?

While the weather in Texas can be temperamental, weather officials expect the risk of rain to continue into the southern part of the state next week, according to the Drought monitor.

A weather forecast for August by the Climate Prediction Center shows that Texas has about a 33% chance of cooler than average temperatures, and parts of eastern Texas have a 40% chance.

Weather officials say precipitation will vary in the southeast and northwest parts of Texas, which have an above-average chance for downpours.

“Our area (West Central Texas) has a 30-40% chance of experiencing below-average temperatures,” O’Quinn said. “For the 3-month outlook, temperatures have a chance to be slightly above normal. As far as precipitation goes, we’re pretty much normal.”

The report of the center for september-november shows about a 40% chance of above-average temperatures over most of Texas and a 33% chance of below-average precipitation.

Alana Edgin is a reporter covering crime and the courts in West Texas. Send him a tip at aedgin@gannett.com.


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