At summer’s end, 60 percent of Texas abnormally dry or in drought


This week’s drought map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a familiar picture of Texas: about 60 percent of the state somewhere between abnormally dry and being in extreme drought, affecting more than 12 million people. At the start of the summer, that drought percentage was only 4.6. Here are five things you need to know about the current weather and long-range forecast, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Treadway.

1. High pressure has kept much of our region warm and dry, but El Niño should bring a wet fall starting in mid-October and an especially wet winter.

2. Southern Travis County is categorized as abnormally dry, Treadway said, while the northeastern and northwestern corners of the county are in moderate drought.

3. “Abnormally dry” means just that — less than normal rainfall amounts. On the other end of the spectrum, “exceptional droughts” are conditions not typically seen for 50 years or more. Water-use restrictions kick in once areas reach moderate to severe drought.

4. About 4.72 percent of the state — or more than a dozen Texas counties, including Milam and Guadalupe — are in extreme drought.

5. Although El Niño phenomena are typically associated with cooler and wetter conditions, a stronger El Niño often will delay the heaviest rains from fall into the winter.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: Man injured after shooting in East Austin
Police: Man injured after shooting in East Austin

Austin-Travis County EMS took a man in his 30s to the hospital after a shooting in East Austin, officials said Saturday. Austin Police responded at about 2 p.m. to the 8400 block of Garcreek Circle, Lt. Brian Moon said. Moon said the incident began as a disturbance and escalated. Medics took the man to Dell Seton Medical Center with a gunshot wound...
South Austin house fire kills pets, does $100,000 structural damage
South Austin house fire kills pets, does $100,000 structural damage

A fire that sparked after 3 a.m. Saturday did $100,000 in structural damage to a South Austin home and killed a dog and a cat, though the resident got out safely, Austin Fire reported. Flames were heavy in the front of the house in the 5800 block of South First Street, near Ben White Blvd., when firefighters arrived. Red Cross is assisting the resident...
New mural at 12th and Chicon unveiled
New mural at 12th and Chicon unveiled

Ten months after Chris Rogers’ mural at 12th and Chicon streets was painted over, sparking outrage from the community over what many saw as an act of gentrification, he will be back Saturday to present his new work at the same spot. In response to the controversy last summer, Austin’s black cultural district, Six Square, reached...
Australian priest reacts to Parkland shooting with swipe at US on church marquee 
Australian priest reacts to Parkland shooting with swipe at US on church marquee 

A rector at a church in Australia sent a pointed message to the United States this week in the wake of the shooting deaths at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, The Washington Post reported. On the marquee outside the Gosford Anglican Church, the Rev. Rod Bower posted the message, “When will they love their kids more than their...
UPDATE: Two injured in auto-bicyclist crash in northwest Austin
UPDATE: Two injured in auto-bicyclist crash in northwest Austin

10 a.m. update: Two people have been taken to a local hospital, one with life-threatening injuries, after a vehicle and bike crash in northwest Austin, EMS officials said. Austin-Travis County EMS took a man in his 50s with life-threatening injuries and a woman in her 20s with non-life threatening injuries to Round Rock Medical Center. Officials advise...
More Stories