Heavy rains could mean East Texas drought is coming to an end

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A scorching summer left East Texas drought-stricken and thirsty for rain. For many last weekends wet weather came as good news. Now, many of you may be wondering if this means the drought is over.

"When we actually looked at the rainfall totals from Thursday through Sunday there we a lot areas especially in Deep East Texas that had anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of rain," says Keith Stellman with the National Weather Service.

Last weekend's showers were something some of us had nearly forgotten. Rain over last summer was scarce. The National Weather Service says the rain we received was more than just a good dose.

"Average rainfall for the month of March is about 4, maybe 4 and a quarter. Some areas in East Texas almost doubled their month totals," says Stellman.

A few good downpours doesn't mean the drought is over. Victor Murphy with the Regional Climate Center in Fort Worth tells us recent rains are a step in the right direction, but we still have a ways to go.

"I would think with April and May coming up assuming we see near average rainfall...during those months, I would see a continued, you know, slow but steady improvement in the drought across your area," says Murphy.

"And we're already seeing this on some of the lakes...particularly on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. They're beginning to fill up," says Stellman.

"Based on the rainfall we saw, I think we'll be looking at the drought pretty much erased for at least parts of East Texas," says Brad Hlozek, KTRE Chief Meteorologist.

March 10, 2012, the drought monitor rated the drought in our area as D-2, which is a mid-level drought. Thursday, the new drought monitor will be released. The National Weather Service along with the Regional Climate Center say the monitor will determine the new level of East Texas' drought.

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