Despite prolonged, intense dry conditions to the west, Texoma remained drought free leading into what is the wettest month of the year, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. In the latest report, the TWDB found that more than half of the state is currently in a state of drought.
“Scattered storms have recently begun to pop up across the state,” TWDB Hydrologist Mark Wentzel said in the report. “Rainfall, totals however, have been too small to bring significant relief to area where it is needed most. The latest map shows an increase of four percentage points in the area of the state impacted by drought.”
This week’s update showed a large band of significant drought along the Texas Panhandle, with a second pocket developing along the Rio Grande Valley. The band in the panhandle includes two areas of “exceptional drought” — the most severe category used by the TWDB.
Meanwhile in North Texas, the region remained drought free following what was an unusually wet February. Matt Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Fort Worth Office, said some portions of North Texas received nearly one foot of rain for the month. Locally, portions of Grayson County received closer to nine inches, nearly triple the average for the month.
Despite the abundant rain earlier this year, Bishop said April was drier than expected with only 1.7 inches of rain for the month. Based on previous totals over the past 30 years, Bishop said the region normally receives closer to 3.55 inches for the month.
However, Bishop said May typically is the wettest month of the year, with more than five inches of rain expected, and the region is expected to see some rainfall early on this month. Bishop said the first significant chance for rain will come Wednesday afternoon and evening when a cell of significant weather rolls into the region from the west. With it, the cell will have the chance to bring nearly an inch of rain along with some significant weather, he said.
There is a 60 percent chance of additional rain Thursday morning just before daybreak, Bishop said.
“It looks like the severe weather chances are there, but not as high as tomorrow and tomorrow night as this blows across Oklahoma and West Texas,” Bishop said Tuesday.
Following the mid-week storms, Bishop said a second cell will bring another chance for rain Friday, but it is not as likely as Thursday.
Despite the dry conditions across the state, reservoir conditions were about average for this time of the year, Wentzel said in the report. As of last week, state reservoirs were at about 84 percent full.
Locally, Lake Texoma’s water levels were slightly above average with an elevation of 615.7 feet as of Tuesday afternoon. This put the lake into its flood control pool, which was 1.89 percent full.