Record rainfall in Texas breaks annual drought warnings
Texas has been suffering through an ongoing drought since October 2010, with certain areas in a state of under drought conditions since 2012. Only 14.8 inches of rain were collected in 2011, and was at risk of repeating its record setting drought of the 1950’s. All in all, this has been a seven year long drought, with nearly 100,000 Texas farms and ranches destroyed.
The recent rain storms brought on by El Nino have given the state a refreshing breather. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the state of Texas is out of the “exceptional drought” category, which has not happened since 2012. Although certain areas of the state are still in dry or severely dry conditions, other parts such as Houston received up to 10 inches of rain last week alone.
Texas’ lakes greatly benefited from the rainfall. Lake Arrowhead and Lake Kickapoo topped off at 50 percent, which is where drought-stricken Wichita Falls gathers its city water supply. Lakes that supply water to the city of Dallas are at 95 percent capacity at the moment. Lake Mineral Wells has been full for the first time since 2012, doubling in size over the past few months.
Much of central and East Texas is now free of drought. Severe drought in the state of Texas has dropped 16 percent, which has not happened since November of 2010.
Although much of the state has benefited from the rainfall, certain areas of Northwest Texas are still at dangerous drought levels. The U.S. Drought Monitor predicts the conditions will not improve by the end of May.
Many Texans will be able to enjoy their summer with peace of mind that their water supply is not dangerously low this year. Experts say the rainfall will continue west to help another state that is currently struggling to stay hydrated: California.
Has your state benefited from this year’s rainfall? What water restrictions are currently affecting your area? Talk to us about it here or chat with me about it on Twitter @jesusgreaser.