For the first time in more than six months, Texoma is completely drought free, the Texas Water Development Board said Wednesday in its weekly water report. Despite the improvements in North Texas, the report found that about 7 percent of the state, up from 6 percent a week ago, is currently in a state of drought.
“Rains in the Panhandle have removed severe drought conditions, but moderate drought (conditions) persist,” TWDB Deputy Executive Water Science and Conservation Administrator Robert Mace said in the report. “The lower Rio Grande Valley also saw improvements last week. Abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions expanded somewhat in Central Texas, although weekend rains may improve conditions in time for the next report.”
This weeks report showed “moderate drought” in the Texas Panhandle and South and South-Central Texas. Locally, no drought or “abnormally dry” conditions were reported in this week’s report. Last week saw a major improvement to the local drought situation as Fannin County, which saw “severe drought” earlier this year, was upgraded to just abnormally dry.
For the month of July, the National Weather Service said a weather station at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field recorded 2.19 inches of rainfall. A second co-op weather station near Sherman recorded about 2.95 inches of rainfall, NWS meteorologist Jennifer Dunn said. For the month, the region normally sees about 2.62 inches of precipitation for the month, she said.
Despite the wet start to the month, Dunn said there are few chances of additional rain in the forecast for the remainder of the month. The greatest chance will come in next week if an upper-level ridge moves west, creating the opportunity for storms to develop to the north.
“The rainfall chances may not look favorable for the rest of the month, but we might see some help,” she said.
In addition to the current drought conditions, this week’s report contained an update on the state’s reservoir storage levels. The report found that many reservoirs within the state remain at least 90 percent full. However, some, located in Central Texas and the Panhandle, are at 50 percent capacity or lower.
On its website for Lake Texoma, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that the lake’s seasonal conservation pool was about 97.5 percent full as of Wednesday afternoon.