AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas and the KXAN viewing area has been in drought since November 30, 2021. Our drought has fluctuated, improved and worsened during that time.
Our last drought-free outlook in the 15-county KXAN viewing area came Thanksgiving week when the Texas drought map looked like this (see below).
A week later northern Lampasas County entered “moderate drought” and we haven’t been drought-free since.
By early April 2022 the drought had worsened considerably with most of the Hill Country in Severe or Extreme drought and parts of Lampasas County in Exceptional drought.
That spring into summer would go on to see Extreme and Exceptional drought take over much of the state and almost all of Central Texas.
This is how the drought looked across Texas by early August of last year.
Significant late summer and early fall rains took a bite out of the drought. Much of Central Texas was taken out of Extreme or Exceptional Drought, but areas southwest of Austin, that had missed some of the heaviest rains at that time, stayed in the worst drought stages.
More rain November into December helped chip away at the drought in parts of the Hill Country and east of I-35. Some areas had lost their drought designation all together, and were either considered dry or normal.
By early January, Texas reached a recent minimum for drought coverage. While not ideal, only 1.60% of Texas was in Exceptional Drought and 71.16% of the state was in some type of drought. Still significant, but the lowest drought coverage in Texas since November 30, 2021.
Fast forward to now and the news has worsened. Drought now covers 78.37% of the state and the Exceptional Drought category has doubled.
In Depth: Drought forecast
The most recently released drought forecast from the Climate Prediction Center does not forecast any drought improvement in the state, but parts of west Texas may see the drought get worse.
Over the last two years much of Texas is missing more than a foot of rainfall.
Stay with the First Warning Weather Team as we take you into our wettest month of the year, on average, May.