Dry conditions expanded to cover almost all of Texoma this past week as drought conditions continued to spread across the state, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. This week’s report found that “abnormally dry” conditions covered much of Grayson, Fannin, Collin and Cooke counties.
“The most recent drought map shows drought expanding by 4 percentage points and now covering 44 percent of the state,” TWDB Hydrologist Mark Wentzel said in the report. “Compared to the previous week, drought conditions improved in West Texas, held steady in the panhandle, but expanded and intensified in Central South and East Texas.”
Just one month ago, the vast majority of the panhandle was described as a mixture of “exceptional” and “extreme drought” — the two most severe categories. However, the heavier drought seems to have since been localized to the central part of the region in recent weeks.
Locally, this week’s report showed an expansion of abnormally dry conditions across much of Texoma. While this classification is not considered a full-scale drought, conditions could deteriorate further without additional rainfall.
Despite the vast majority of the region being considered drought free, a small portion of Southwest Collin County was described as experiencing “moderate drought.”
Traditionally, June has been the third wettest month of the year, behind May and October, with an average of 5 inches of rain expected. However, this season comes on the tails of a May that saw unseasonably dry conditions with rainfall well under what was initially predicted.
“May is typically the wettest month of the year,” Wentzel said. “May 2018, however, brought below-normal precipitation to much of the state. For example, Atlanta recorded less than 10 percent of its average May rainfall of more than four inches.”
For the first third of the month, a weather station in Sherman received 1.64 inches of precipitation, National Weather Service Meteorologist Patricia Sanchez said.
Following storms late last week, Sanchez said conditions are expected to remain dry for much of the week, with only a 20 percent chance for rain overnight into Tuesday and on Sunday. If there are storms, they likely will be heavily scattered and isolated, she said.