Despite rain in southern parts of the state, drought conditions expanded along the Red River Valley and North Texas, the Texas Water Development Board said in its weekly drought report. Currently about 5 percent of the state is considered to be in a state of drought.


“As expected, rains in South Texas reduced drought conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley,” Robert Mace, TWDB deputy executive water science and conservation administrator, said in the latest report. “However, drought and abnormally dry conditions expanded in other parts of the state, especially in Northeast Texas where severe drought expanded into Red River County.”


Mace added that dry conditions in the Panhandle contributed to recent wildfires in the area.


Locally, the latest report described conditions in Fannin County as a mixture of severe and moderate drought. For the first time in two months, conditions in Grayson County were described as a moderate drought after being considered “abnormally dry.”


For the month of March, Sherman has only received about 0.33 inches of rainfall — about one-tenth of the average rainfall the region sees for the month. Rainfall in Bonham is also down with only 0.73 inches of rainfall compared to an average of 3.63 inches.


With the low rainfall, the TWDB said Grayson County and the majority of Fannin County is in moderate fire danger. Northern portions of Fannin, which have seen heightened drought conditions, are in a high threat for fire, the report said.


Relief from the dry conditions could come in the next few days, National Weather Service Meteorologist Lamont Bain said Thursday. There is a low chance for rain Friday before conditions dry out again on Saturday and Sunday. The best chance for rain will come next week, with a 40 percent chance later in the week.