Hot Off The Press

TWDB Drought Update for Week of June 16, 2015

i Jun 22nd No Comments by

For the first time since the fall of 2010, statewide reservoir storage is above what we would normally expect for this time of year. There’s still one frazzled thread of drought in the Panhandle as measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor; reservoir levels remain low in West and South Texas.

Some notes from Dr. Wentzel:

  • The most recent map from the U.S. Drought Monitor for conditions as of June 16th shows little change from last week. The area of Moderate (D1) Drought (the only category of drought remaining in the state) in the Panhandle shrank to less than 1/3 of a percent of the state.
  • Statewide conservation storage continued to grow slowly in the last week. Total conservation storage was up a little more than 100,000 acre-feet (0.4 percentage points), extending to 17 weeks the current streak of improvement. Storage is normal for this time of year, more than 17 percentage points better than a year ago.
  • As of Thursday, June 18th, conservation storage was up in 6, unchanged in 2, and down in 1 of 9 climate regions with reservoirs across the state. The only decrease this week was in the Trans Pecos, down 0.6 percentage points. The Low Rolling Plains and High Plains regions had the largest increases, up 4.5 and 2.0 percentage points, respectively.  The South Central region was also up 1 percentage point.  All other changes were ½ a percentage point or less.
  • Conservation storage (as a percentage of capacity) increased in 11 of the 20 municipal reservoir systems that we track across the state, remained unchanged in 7, and decreased in 2. El Paso had the largest decrease for the week, down 0.6 percentage points. Wichita Falls had the largest gain, up 5.5 percentage points.  Six other systems (Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo, Austin, Laredo, and Brownsville) were up ½ a percentage point or more.
  • The Seasonal Drought Outlook from the National Weather Service for conditions through the end of September continues to look good for Texas.  During that time, they anticipate the last pocket of drought in the Panhandle will be removed and no new areas of drought will develop.
  • Nine climate regions of the state no longer have drought on their landscape, as reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Four of these regions (Low Rolling Plains, North Central, East Texas, and Upper Coast) also have reservoir storages at or above normal for this time of year and are therefore considered free from water supply drought.  Water supply reservoirs associated with six regions (High Plains, Trans Pecos, Edwards Plateau, South Central, South, and Lower Valley) continue to have storage levels below normal for this time of year. Only one region of the state (High Plains) continues to have localized drought on the landscape, as reported by the US Drought Monitor.

Download the report