Despite recent rainfall, accompanied by damaging wind and hail in some locations, 97 percent of Texas remains in some stage of drought. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) reports that rain has improved drought conditions across all categories, but much of the Texas High Plains remains in either Exceptional—the worst category—or Extreme drought. Conditions continue to improve in East Texas, but exceptional drought conditions still hold in West and South Texas and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Recent rains also caused water levels in the Edwards Aquifer to rise some 17 feet, providing some needed relief.

Current conditions include: 97 percent of the state is currently in drought, the same as in the previous week but significantly higher than the 87 percent from three months ago and 91 percent last year.

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Reservoir levels have changed little and the current 66 percent full status is unchanged from last week and is 1 percentage point lower than three months ago. Last year at this time, reservoir levels were at 77 percent full.Normally, reservoirs are at 85 percent during this same period.

Recent reports from Oklahoma indicate much of the state has improved over the past two weeks, but improvement came with a huge toll in human life and destruction from devastating tornadoes. Much of the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma have experienced significant recharge of soil moisture, according to Oklahoma State University Extension livestock economist Darrell Peel.

Peel said drought continues to hang on in about one-third of the state. The drought line now extends approximately two to three counties in from the western border of the state, including the Oklahoma Panhandle and back into north-central counties along the Kansas border, he said.

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