Dry conditions persist for most of Texoma

Michael Hutchins, Herald Democrat

For the first time in more than a month, severe drought was recorded in Texas, the Texas Water Development Board said Monday in its weekly water report. In this week’s update, the board reported that 3 percent of the state, up from 2 percent last week, remains in a state of drought.

“In the last week, drought expanded and intensified across our state,” Mark Wentzel, a hydrologist for the TWDB, said. “New pockets of drought emerged centered on Foard and Kleberg counties. More than a quarter of the state is abnormally dry — not yet in drought but headed that way.”

This week’s report saw “severe drought” return to portions of South Texas and the gulf coast. Locally, Fannin, Cooke and Collin counties are all considered to be experiencing “abnormally dry” conditions throughout the entirety of the counties. Grayson, however, remains mostly drought-free aside from a small band of abnormally dry area along the Red River.

The recent dry spell comes following a roller coaster of weather conditions at the end of the summer. Locally, August 2017 was the wettest August on record, with portions of Sherman receiving more than 13 inches of rain in the span on one month. This was followed by one of the driest Septembers on record, with the same Sherman weather station receiving just 0.02 inches of rain for the entire month.

Patricia Sanchez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Fort Worth Forecast Office, said the city of Sherman received 3.6 inches of rain in October. Despite an improvement over the previous month, Sanchez said this is still under the 5.29 inches that the weather station normally receives.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NWS had not yet received reports of rain totals from local weather stations following storms earlier in the morning. Discounting any rain received Wednesday, Sanchez said the Sherman weather station had recorded no other rainfall for the month.

Beyond Wednesday’s storms, Sanchez said she predicted a dry end to the week, with little chance for rain through Saturday. However, rain is expected to return to the region Sunday, when chances for precipitation rise to about 30 percent, she said.