Drought conditions continued to improve for portions of the state last week as Texoma remained unseasonably dry going into one of the wettest months of the year, the Texas Water development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. This week’s report found that 40 percent of the state is affected by some form of drought.
“The latest drought map shows the results of spotty precipitation across the state,” TWDB Hydrologist Mark Wentzel said in the report. “Areas of the Panhandle and West Texas showed improvement while conditions degraded in other areas. For the first time in three months, drought re-emerged in East Texas.”
This past week saw great improvement in the panhandle, which previously saw the majority of the region in a state of “extreme” and “exceptional” drought — the two most severe categories used by the water board. However, this week’s report saw the area affected by exceptional drought reduced to a small cell centralized over Armstrong County. Smaller cells of extreme drought however have cropped up to the south in West Texas.
Locally, this week’s report saw the official return of drought to Texoma, when a cell of “moderate drought” appeared in southwest Collin County. Fannin, Grayson and Cooke counties all were described as being “abnormally dry” in the update. While this classification does not indicate a drought, conditions could deteriorate into one without additional rain.
The dry conditions come as the region has fallen below its average monthly rainfall each month since March. This in turn followed an unseasonably wet February that saw nearly triple the average rainfall in the final days of the month.
Despite initial predictions of a dry start to June, a co-op weather station in Sherman reported 0.65 inches of rain for the first four days of the month.
“Not all areas got rain, but it was a lucky shot that they (storms) went over that area,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason Dunn said.
Dunn said the chances of rain throughout the remainder of the week remain low, with chances for each day remaining below 20 percent.
This week’s report also saw the statewide water supply storage drop to 83 percent, putting it below the normal average for this time of year. As of Tuesday afternoon, the pool elevation of Lake Texoma stood at 618.96 feet. This placed the lake within its conservation pool, which was 99.8 percent full.