Drought improves locally, and just slightlyJuly 27th, 2012 at 11:40 am by David Mazza under Weather
Another week, another little chip we took out of the drought locally. It wasn’t a huge difference week to week, but then again most of the area saw little to no rainfall over the past week, and the conditions seemed to improve. Clearly, seeing almost 4″ at ABIA and almost 6″ at Camp Mabry during what typically is our driest month helps. As it stands, we are still about 4.2″ above normal at Mabry, and with no more rain in the July forecast, we will still finish around 4″ above normal. Below is a comparison image taken from the US Drought Monitor website, comparing the last week’s image on the left (7/17/2012) vs. the current image on the right (7/24/2012). *click on image for full screen*
The yellow color represents the “D0- abnormally dry” drought condition, the best drought status. This has taken over much of our area from along I-35 and east. The exceptions are in Williamson and Milam counties. Most of the rest of our area is under a “D1- Moderate” drought, shaded in a light orange or peach color. This is quite an improvement, especially in Burnet and Blanco counties, which last week were almost entirely a category worse. The darker orange color represents the “D2- Severe” drought. You can see a little pocket of that in North-Central/East Williamson County, and Northwest Milam county. This area has actually shrunk from last week, when almost all of Williamson County was covered and most of the northern half of Milam County was covered. The only downfall in our area week to week was in Gillespie County, where the lack of above normal rainfall this month like most of the rest of our area has caused a worsening drought. Much of the Western half of the county dropped from a “D1- Moderate” to a “D2-Severe” Drought. The forecast calls for a high to build into the area for the next week and shut off rain chances. Starting later in August our really dry pattern starts to shift as the seasons begin to shift. The longer range outlooks call for near normal rainfall and temps over the next 3 months.
While gathering information on the drought’s week to week changes in our area, I thought it would be interesting to show how far we have come in a year. Boy, its quite amazing! While most of the country has fallen into a bad drought situation, things in Texas have GREATLY improved in the last year.
Below is an image from the US Drought Monitor website that compares the drought monitor from 7/26/2011 to 7/24/2012. Amazing! Especially in our area, a year ago the entire area was in a “D4- Exceptional” drought, the worst level.
Below I have posted a pick of the latest US Drought Monitor for the entire US. Very sad news for many farmers all over the country, and sure to be something that will effect all of us when we go grocery shopping in the next few months.
NOAA has put together an interesting 13 second video clip of a map of the United States, with the drought conditions laid on top for each month of 2012. It really shows how quickly the current drought escalated across the country.