For the first time in nearly eight months, drought conditions returned to Grayson County, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. In the most recent update, the board found that 20 percent of the state is currently experiencing drought conditions.
“Another week of dry and warm weather brought more drought to Texas,” Mark Wentzel, a TWDB hydrologist, said in this week’s report. “Drought now covers 20 percent of the state, including three percent of the state impacted by severe drought. Forty percent of the state is abnormally dry and in danger of slipping into drought in the next few weeks.”
In the latest report, Grayson County was recorded as experiencing moderate drought in its northern portions, with severe drought extending east and west through Fannin and Cooke counties, respectively.
In last week’s report, Grayson County was classified as “abnormally dry” for the first time since early October. This classification is not considered a full-scale drought, however, if it could escalate to one if conditions do not improve. For the majority of October and November, Grayson was one of the few areas of Texoma not inundated with drought or drought-like conditions.
Locally, severe drought has appeared through all of Fannin County and extends through to the southeast corner of Cooke County. Meanwhile, a small band of severe drought extends through the northern tip of Collin County with the remainder of the county experiencing moderate drought.
This marks the first time since March that Grayson County has been considered to be in a state of drought by the water board in what has been an unusual end of summer and start of fall for the region. This year, Grayson County experienced the wettest August on record with portions of the region receiving 13 inches of rain — more than double what was expected for that time of year.
This in turn was followed by one of the driest Septembers in recent memory as portions of the region received as little as 0.02 inches of rain for the month. While October saw improvement, with a Sherman weather station recording 3.6 inches of rainfall, it was still below average for the month.
For the month of November, a Sherman co-op weather station has recorded only 0.05 inches of rain for the month. Lee Carlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Fort Worth Forecast Office, said the station is missing reports for two days this month, but these appear to be days that other area weather stations recorded no rainfall.
By comparison, a weather station at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field only recorded 0.37 inches of rain for the month.
Carlaw said the region is expected to remain dry for the foreseeable future, with the best chance of rain likely to occur Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Despite the low rainfall in recent weeks, the report noted that most of the state reservoir elevations remain above average for this time of year. As of Wednesday afternoon, Lake Texoma’s elevation was at 618.75 feet with 99.44 percent of the lake’s conservation pool full.