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KUT News Staff
Central Texas in 'Significant' Short-Term Drought
The U.S. Drought Monitor released a new map today – and the news is mixed.
For the first time since March of last year, no part of Texas is under the worst stage of drought. But parts of Central Texas are actually drier than they’ve been in the last few months.
The map shows parts of Travis, Williamson, and Milam counties have been elevated from moderate to severe drought.
That’s because June, which is usually the state’s wettest month, has been abnormally dry. In fact, the last five weeks have been the second driest late May to mid-June on record.
National Weather Service Regional Climate Service program manager Victor Murphy says Austin is right at the center of a significant short-term drought – with temperatures expected to soon top 100 and little to no rain.
“For the next week or so I feel very confident in telling you, yes, we’ll see a deterioration of conditions between now and next week. And in all probability we’ll probably see some kind of deterioration now through the rest of the summer,” said Murphy.
Mark Lenz is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. He agrees drought levels will probably get worse again before they get better.
“The drought will continue here for the next couple of months – probably through the summer. And then it looks like we may develop an El Nino pattern by late summer and into the fall and winter which generally bodes well for Texas because we tend to see normal or above normal rainfall.”