It’s better than it has been but drought continues to stress more than 70 percent of Texas. And, although recent rainfall has provided much needed relief, the improvements are coming at “slower rate than in previous weeks,” according to the latest Texas Drought Report from the Texas Water Development Board.

Also of concern is rainfall is not providing equal opportunity. “While some parts of the state improved, others got worse,” the report said. Also, reservoirs are not filling and remain at 20 percentage points below normal for this time of year.

Latest numbers indicate; 71 percent of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought, up from 69 percent last week, 64 percent three months ago and down from 84 percent this time last year.

The report also noted that the latest U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, which holds though the end of September, shows improvements in Wes Texas but continuing and developing drought across the rest of the state.

For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox

The latest drought map shows fewer areas in the “no drought” status. Most of those areas are on the eastern edge of the state with one small spot on the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Panhandle remains a hot spot with significant areas still considered in severe and extreme drought and a significant area in the rolling Plains near the Southwest Oklahoma state line remaining in exceptional drought. Another ribbon of exceptional drought extends out of the Oklahoma Panhandle into the top of The Texas Panhandle.

Across the West, the map shows some improvement but with all of California and most of Oregon and Nevada projected to see drought persist or intensify through September. Large areas in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado should see drought remaining but diminishing or disappearing. Drought is expected to develop in areas of East Texas and western Louisiana.