After receiving four months of above normal rainfall, we have seen the drought finally end for the Piney Woods of Deep East Texas.
The latest Drought Monitor shows that North, Central, and East Texas are now drought free. The one exception is a very small area encompassing eastern Rusk and western Panola county, which is in a "D1 Moderate" drought.
La Nina is Over
The climate phenomena known as "La Nina" appears to be over as El Nino is set to return. La Nina is associated with cooler than normal waters in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. We had been in a La Nina pattern for the past two years until winding down just recently.
La Nina patterns tend to provide East Texas with warmer and drier than normal conditions. In the case of 2011, it brought the state the driest year on record, leading to an exceptional drought and numerous wildfires.
The end of La Nina has led to a shift in the weather pattern; one that has brought us several Pacific and west coast storm systems. This is why we have seen above normal rainfall this past winter. With more storms lining up, it appears that rainfall will be slightly above normal over the next month.
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