Drought conditions continued to slowly escalate across the state as 9 percent of the state experiences drought conditions, the Texas Water Development Board said in its weekly water report on Monday. Despite dry conditions across the state, the report found no drought or “abnormally dry” conditions in Texoma.
“The past week saw drought intensifying in both the Panhandle and in Central-to-South-Central Texas,” Robert Mace, TWDB deputy executive water science and conservation administrator, said. “Severe drought introduced itself to parts of Central Texas and more parts of the Panhandle, with moderate drought expanding in Central and South-Central Texas. Fortunately, reservoir storage remains high for most of the state.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the conservation pool of Lake Texoma stood at 616.85 feet, or 94.17 percent full.
This marks the third consecutive week that Texoma has remained completely drought free, according to TWDB reports. The TWDB found that Grayson County was drought free four weeks ago, however, Fannin County was described as “abnormally dry.”
This week’s report comes following an unseasonably wet July in which parts of the region saw more than double the monthly average for rainfall. National Weather Service Meteorologist Jesse Moore said North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field saw 4.89 inches of rain, with a co-op weather station near Sherman reporting 5.1 inches. By comparison, the region normally receives about 2.6 inches of rainfall for July.
Moore said the unusual weather has been caused by a westward shift in the high pressure ride that normally keeps the region dry and warm during the summer. This shift has allowed storms that normally form and remain in Colorado and Oklahoma to travel south into Texas.
With the start of August, Moore said he expected the pattern of wetter-than-normal weather to continue, however he did not know how much rain the region might see.
For the first week of August, Moore projected the region would see scattered thunderstorms, with the highest chance for rain coming on Thursday and Friday. The heightened chance for rain is expected to continue through the weekend and early next week, he said.
“We have been in a relatively unstable weather pattern and expect to remain in one for the next several days,” Moore said.