Drought conditions have expanded and now include all of East Texas, based on the latest drought monitor index, which came out on Tuesday.
Just a few weeks ago, we only had Houston county in a severe drought, with only moderate drought conditions effecting just a handful of households. However, the recent lack of rainfall and the hot, August sunshine, has dried out the soil moisture content considerably in the past month. Therefore, drought conditions have returned to the Piney Woods.
If you look at the graphic image to your right, you will notice that there are three shades of colors.
The brown color, which includes Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Livingston, and Jasper, represents a moderate drought. This is the first stage in the drought conditions index.
The burnt orange shading, which includes most of Houston county and areas from Carthage to Center, are in a severe drought. That is one category worse than the moderate drought.
Finally, the darker orange shading, which encompasses areas just north of Grapeland and up toward Palestine, are in an extreme drought.
Outside of the months of June and July, we have had below normal rainfall in the other six months in 2013, including the month of August so far. Other than a few isolated showers, most areas have stayed relatively dry as of late. The widespread, soaking showers don't look to be in the offing, either, as we head toward the last week of August.
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