Without Regular Rain, Houston Could Slip Back Into Dry Spell

image from U.S. Drought Monitor
After a wet first part of the year, the regular rains we had gotten used to have gone away again. Drought experts say it would be easy for the Houston-area to slip back into a dry pattern.

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.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...