Drought conditions continue to expand and worsen across East Texas

Updated: Dec. 14, 2017 at 5:11 PM CST
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EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - It was not that long ago when we had the wettest summer on record and the rainiest August on record in Deep East Texas, due in large part to Hurricane Harvey.

Despite our annual surplus in rainfall for 2017, we have now seen drought conditions quickly expand and worsen across East Texas due to a lack of rainfall over the past few months.

Even though we still have that surplus in rainfall for the year, it is the lack of timely rainfall which has led to the soil moisture content becoming depleted, leading to those drought conditions quickly building south into our part of the state.

Just three months ago, less than two percent of the state of Texas was in a drought.  As of this week, over 26% of the state is now in a drought and nearly 12% is in a stage two, severe drought.

Most of that drought that encompasses the Lone Star state is confined to northern and eastern part of the state.

We have now seen that severe drought expand south to include Alto, Nacogdoches, Center, and San Augustine (tan colored region).

A moderate, stage one drought, now exists for everyone else in Deep East Texas, with the exception of areas around the Trinity River (see yellow shaded region).

We do have some much needed rain on the menu for this weekend, but it will not be enough to get rid of the drought.  It will keep things in check for the time being.  In order to get rid of the drought, we will now need timely rainfall for the remainder of the winter months, which does not look likely considering that a drier than normal winter is expected across the Deep South.

It should be noted that we currently have no burn bans in place in the Piney Woods.  However, you should still exercise caution and avoid doing any outdoor burning on days where the winds are up and the humidity values are low.

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