Despite rains bringing some relief, drought conditions persist in Northeast Texas, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. The report found that about 2 percent of the state, down from 4 percent last week, remains in a state of drought.
“Rains in Northeast Texas decreased moderate drought conditions to a 50- by 75-mile rectangle in the corner of the state,” Robert Mace, TWDB deputy executive water science and conservation administrator, said in the report. “West Texas saw a spotty expansion of abnormally dry conditions that extend toward Central Texas.”
“Conditions in the lower Rio Grande Valley remained the same as last week,” Mace continued.
Locally, the region remains drought-free, however, he majority of Texoma is described as “abnormally dry” in the latest report. Fannin, Collin, and Cooke counties remained abnormally dry, while Grayson County was completely drought free save for a small band of abnormally dry conditions along the Red River.
This week’s report follows a tumultuous two months in local weather. Grayson County experienced its wettest August on record, with some areas reporting more than 13 inches of rain. However, September proved to be the exact opposite with portions of Sherman receiving less than 0.02 inches of precipitation for the entire month.
“Much of the state has received less than normal rainfall over the last 60 days with the areas currently in drought receiving less than 50 percent of normal rainfall,” Mace said. “The area currently in drought in Northeast Texas has received less than 25 percent of normal rainfall over the past two months.”
Jason Godwin, a meteorologist with the Fort Worth forecast office of the National Weather Service, said current projections remain neutral, with an even chance for prolonged drought and wet conditions for the region. However, he noted that climatologists are currently predicting La Niña conditions for this fall, which traditionally bring warmer and drier weather during the winter months.
For the month of October, Godwin said a co-op weather station in Sherman recorded 3.57 inches of rain, excluding any that fell Tuesday. This is down from the 5.4 inches the weather station normally records for the month.
Beyond the rains on Halloween, Godwin said conditions are expected to remain dry for the next seven days, with no rainfall in the forecast.