After A Weekend Of Rain, Experts Say More Needed

Houstonians were greeted to a pleasant surprise over the weekend. Rain. But it's not just Houston. Much of the state has received the badly needed showers as well. What impact this will have on our drought conditions?

We didn’t get the big prolonged thunderstorm we’re used to seeing, but to many people the weekend rain just felt like more than anything we’ve had lately.

This is Chris McKinney with the National Weather Service.

"It’s certainly been the biggest rain event we’ve seen in quite some time. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be enough to end the drought by any stretch, but it’s certainly nice to have some rain."

McKinney says we’re so far behind it would take more than a weekend of rain to make up for the extreme dryness we’ve experienced this year.

"Our normal year to date from January 1st, we’d have just under 34 1/2 inches of rain. Right now, we’ve had just under 12 inches, so we’re running about 22 inches behind normal. Bascially, we are only about a 3rd of what we would see through this time of year."

Mark Waller is a professor of agriculture economics at Texas A&M. He says the drought has caused more than 5 billion dollars in losses to Texas agriculture.  He says the rain will help a little but a lot of the damage has already been done.

"Row crops, cotton, corn, grain, you’re looking at wheat, we’ve already passed the harvest time frame for a lot of those crops or the major production time frames. So the damage that was done during spring and summer is done. Rainfall now is not going to help it. On the other hand, we’ve got guys planting wheat for next year. They need that rainfall this will help them."

Looking ahead, McKinney says it’s a La Nina year and that probably won’t mean a lot of rain in the coming months.

South drought monitor map