Drought Monitor: Houston Doing Better

from the U.S. Drought Monitor
More good news here in the Houston area when it comes to drought recovery. The U.S. Drought Monitor map now shows only 13 percent of Texas in "exceptional" drought, down from 20 percent just last week.

Here in Houston, we've gone from being in a "severe" drought just a few weeks ago to what officials at the U.S. Drought  Monitor in Nebraska call a more "moderate" drought. Mark Svoboda says he's been surprised by the somewhat fast turnaround.

"The idea going in was that you wouldn't have expected to see a lot of recovery and what we instead have seen over the last 90-120 days has been quite the opposite. We've seen a lot of short-term recovery. That said, we still have some pretty substantial long-term deficits that will take a little while longer to get us totally out of the drought, so we're not totally out of the woods just
yet."

The Drought Monitor shows no drought at all in about 6 percent of the state. It's the first time since last March that number has been above 5 percent. Svoboda says it sometimes doesn't take long to pull out of an extended dry spell.

"It can take you months or years to get into a drought and then, boom, a hurricane hits or a tropical storm or you get a nice winter pattern like this when the demand is low and it's not high temperatures. That really is a good time to recovery, when you're coupling that with a low-demand season. We know spring and summer is right on the doorstep though, so the other thing to think about though it that it wouldn't take a very long hot dry spell to flip us right back off the fence that we climbed up on."

Bush Intercontinental Airport has received more than 15 inches of rain since December 1st. Hobby has gotten more than 12 inches of rain over the same period.