Drought and dry conditions have begun to spread again across the state following the inundation from Hurricane Harvey and an unseasonably wet August, the Texas Water Development Board said in its weekly water report Tuesday. The report found that 2 percent, up from less than 1 percent last week, of the state is currently in a state of drought.
“Drought expanded in South Texas in Dimmit, Kinney, Maverick, Uvalde and Zavala counties,” Robert Mace, TWDB deputy executive water science and conservation administrator, said in the report. “Abnormally dry conditions expanded in the lower Rio Grande Valley and appeared in Bandera County.”
“During the last 30 days and over a distance of less than 100 miles, Caldwell County received six times its normal rainfall and Medina County received less than a quarter of its normal rainfall,” Mace continued.
Following the wettest August on record locally, with portions of the county receiving five times the monthly average rainfall, September has proved, so far, to be unusually dry. For the month, the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office has recorded only 0.02 inches of rainfall at a co-op weather station in Sherman. This is well below the monthly average of 2.20 inches for the entirety of September, Meteorologist Patricia Sanchez said.
Moving forward with the remainder of the week, Sanchez said she does not anticipate a break from the dry conditions. Through the middle of next week, chances for rainfall will remain at about 10 percent each day through Wednesday, with slightly higher chances on Monday and Tuesday, she said.
September’s dry spell comes as the Climate Prediction Center changed its projection for the fall and winter in anticipation for potential La Niña weather patterns.
“La Niñas tend to bring drier and hotter winters to Texas,” Mace said. “Consistent with the watch, the latest North American Multi-Model Ensemble forecasts for October through November suggest drier and warmer conditions this fall.”
Initially, climatologists expected this fall and winter to remain in a neutral pattern, NWS Meteorologist Juan Hernandez said. However, these predictions have since changed, he said.
“This doesn’t mean that we won’t have cold snaps or cold spells, but generally it will be warmer than average,” he said.