Severe drought continues over Southern Jefferson County - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Severe drought continues over Southern Jefferson County

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It was a wet week across eastern Texas and the northeastern half of the Texas Gulf Coast and adjacent Louisiana. Rainfall totals exceeded 2 inches throughout this region, and were much greater in some areas. Totals of 4 to locally over 8 inches were measured in a large part of southwestern Louisiana away from the immediate coast, and amounts of 3 to 7 inches, with isolated higher amounts, were common along the immediate Texas Gulf Coast. The Drought Monitor classification was improved in most areas receiving over 3 inches of rain, with small areas of 2-category improvement introduced where the heaviest rains fell in southwestern Louisiana.

In stark contrast, most of the central and western two-thirds of Texas was dry, with only scattered reports of a few tenths of an inch of rain at best. However, significant rainfall deficits on the 90-day time scale are limited to parts of western and northern Texas due to the heavy rain that fell on a large part of the interior last week. Fairly broad swaths of Texas were reclassified as “L” rather than “SL” as a result.

There were some new assessment tools available for Texas this week, and based on a substantial amount of added information, almost the entire state was redrawn, though Drought Monitor change was limited to 1 category in most of the state. Exceptions included some of the wet areas in the east, and a re-evaluated area in west-central Texas which has received significantly more relief than has been previously indicated.

Despite recent rains in some areas, crops continue to struggle and soil moisture shortages cover a large proportion of the state, subsoil moisture more so than topsoil. Last week, 64% of Texas winter wheat was in poor or very poor conditions, as were 33% of Texas oats. Deficient topsoil covers more than half the state (53%), and short subsoil moisture is even more widespread (62%).
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