In spite of recent rainfall across much of the Southwest, large parts of Texas remain stuck in extreme and exceptional drought status.

A band running from just north of the Dallas Metroplex, over to Vernon and up into the Panhandle all the way to the Oklahoma state line, is still colored brown or dark red on the latest drought monitor map—extreme to exceptional classifications. Much of the rest of the Texas Panhandle is considered in severe drought status.

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“The rain train has continued chugging across large parts of Texas,’ the latest report from the Texas Water development board says. ‘But the latest impact on drought has been mixed.”

The report shows that about 7 percent of the state has come out of the drought in the past week. “But reservoir storage decreased by 100,000 acre-feet.”

The numbers break down like this:

  • 60 percent of the stare is in moderate to exceptional drought.
  • 69 percent of the state was considered in moderate to exceptional drought last week.
  • 67 percent was in that range three months ago.
  • 87 percent of the state was in moderate to exceptional drought this time last year.

Drought is expected to persist across much of West and North Texas with some improvements along the coast. East Texas also shows improving conditions. A big swatch of land covering most of California, most of Oregon, and parts of Arizona, Nevada and Idaho likely will remain in drought or see conditions worsen.