More than half of Texas is currently in a state of drought following a dry start to 2018, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. This week’s update reported that 56 percent of the state is currently in some form of drought.
“This is the largest areas of Texas impacted by drought since September 2014 during the 2010-2015 drought,” TWDB Hydrologist Mark Wentzel said in the report. “More than 30 counties in the northern part of the state are now impacted by extreme drought.”
Despite the increase in drought across the state, conditions remained mostly unchanged locally in Texoma. Grayson, Fannin and Collin counties all were described as “abnormally dry” in the latest report, but were not classified as being in a drought.
To the west, Cooke County was a mixture of both “moderate drought” and “severe drought” in the latest report. Even further west, a band of “extreme drought” extended from Wichita County to the northwest through the panhandle all the way to Sherman County.
By Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Fort Worth had recorded only 0.1 inches of rain in Sherman for the month. Following winter weather Tuesday night, the weather service recorded only trace of precipitation at a co-op weather station in Sherman.
Despite the widespread drought across the county, the TWDB noted that the elevation for state reservoirs remains slightly above average for this time of year. Following the first month of the year, reservoir levels sit at about 82 percent full, the weekly report said.
“In the next few months, drought is expected to increase demands on our water supply reservoirs,” Wentzel said. “It’s comforting to begin that process with supplies near normal for this time of year.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the elevation of Lake Texoma was at 616.28 feet. This put the elevation into what is considered the lake’s flood control pool, which was 2.55 percent full at the time.