Without Regular Rain, Houston Could Slip Back Into Dry Spell
by: Jack Williams, May 1, 2012 9:05:00 pm
Although not nearly as dry as last April, last month's rainfall totals here in Houston were half those of the previous month, which was surprisingly wet, with more than 7 inches of rain. Brian Fuchs is with the U.S. Drought Monitor and says things can get dry again quickly.
"Last year we really saw the heat kick in about this time and you take some of these areas that have improved quite rapidly as far as how drought conditions have improved, you start kicking in some of that heat, you shut off some of these regular rains and all of a sudden some of these conditions that have improved show their vulnerability and some of those same impacts start coming back."
Although Houston is still considered drought-free according to the latest Drought Monitor map, Fuchs says local water reservoirs are still recovering from last year's dry spell.
"Even though they're recovering, I'd say a lot of them still have room to recover and now you go into a higher-demand time of year and you're going to start drawing-down on some of those again and will they be able to sustain themselves? Again, the key is all of sudden you see some of those precipitation events start waning and it really gives you an idea exactly where you are in that recovery."
Last year's drought started in earnest in February, when there was only a third of an inch of rain in Houston.