Editor’s Note: The video above shows the latest from the KXAN First Warning Weather team.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Drought conditions in Central Texas intensified dramatically in Thursday’s weekly drought update.

As we bake in Austin’s hottest summer on record to date, data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the area of Texas impacted by the worst drought classification, “D4 Exceptional Drought”, jumped from just 1% last week to 11% this week. Isolated rain showers some recent days are not making any measurable difference in severe drought conditions nor in very low lake and aquifer levels.

Camp Mabry has only recorded 1/4″ of rain in the last two months. This July was Austin’s hottest on record, and August has been record-hot as well — by a wide margin of 1.6 degrees at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hot temperatures evaporate moisture more rapidly from the soil, vegetation, and water reservoirs.

The U.S. Drought Monitor describes the Exceptional Drought classification as follows:

  • Boat ramps are closed; obstacles are exposed in water bodies; water levels are at or near historic lows
  • Producers wean calves early and liquidate herds due to importation of hay and water expenses
  • Devastating algae blooms occur; water quality is very poor
  • Exceptional and widespread crop loss is reported
  • Exceptional water shortages are noted across surface water sources; water table is declining
  • Extreme sensitivity to fire danger
  • Widespread tree mortality is reported; most wildlife species’ health and population are suffering