Drought conditions improved in portions of the state over the past week while intensifying in others, the Texas Water Development Board said in its weekly water report. This follows a pattern of improvement in the northeast and escalation in the panhandle.


“A mixed bag of drought conditions for the state: overall improvements, especially in southeast Texas and parts of the northeast,” Robert Mace, deputy executive conservation and water science director, said in the report. “Drought also intensified in the northeast (from) Red River through Hunt Counties.”


The TWDB reported that only 6 percent of the state is currently in a state of drought. This is down slightly from 7 percent last week. Significant drought in Northeast Texas is centered around Lamar and Red River counties, with bands of severe drought extending west into Fannin County, and south into Hopkins County.


Locally, portions of Eastern Grayson County are described as experiencing a “moderate drought,” while the remainder of the county is “abnormally dry” but not currently experiencing drought conditions.


For the rest of the month, Mace said drought conditions are expected to improve for the majority of the state. However, much like in recent months, these conditions are expected to continue in areas already hit by dry conditions.


“The drought outlook for January suggests some improvement but drought development (is expected) in the El Paso area, the Panhandle and the Lower Rio Grade Valley,” he said.


As of Thursday morning, Grayson County had only received 0.34 inches of rain this month, National Weather Service Meteorologist Dennis Cain said. However, the region will likely see up to 3.5 inches of rain over the weekend, bringing the region up to its monthly average, Cain said.


Storms will enter the region as two cold fronts blow in starting on Friday. A second system is expected to enter the region on Sunday evening, bringing with it the greatest chance of rain, he said.


“It will be a slow-moving system that will be sending off smaller cells throughout the weekend,” Cain said.


With Friday’s storms, Cain expected the Sherman area to receive about one inch of rain, with an additional two to three inches expected Sunday.