Drought Persists - Despite seeing some rain occur over parts of north and central Texas last week, the drought for the entire state continues to get progressively worse as a whole. Last week before the rain, about 65 percent of the state was in a Moderate to Exceptional Drought (D1-D4). As of today, drought conditions continue over 71 percent of the state.
Extreme to perhaps locally exceptional drought conditions continue over a good part of the Texas Panhandle, and portions of west and northwest Texas, where they have had almost no relief from the worsening conditions. In fact, it has been 130 days since it rained in Amarillo, which means, October 9th of last year was the last time it rained there are surrounding areas!
Severe drought spreads from the Panhandle through western and northwestern parts of the state, even some of central Texas. Places within the vicinity of Victoria is also considered under a severe drought.
Burn Bans - Consequently, there are now 124 counties in the state under burn bans due to the persisting drought. A good chunk of our western coverage area is also under the burn bans, mainly areas to the east of Dallas proper. This does include Tarrant and Denton counties.
Luckily, we will see conditions improve over the next 10 days here in North Texas, as we will have rain chances everyday starting tomorrow. It won't dump buckets everyday, but it will certainly help improve our drought conditions overtime. The drought will likely stick with us through late February, but we will definitely see improvements as we get into meteorological spring, especially in north and central Texas and points to the west. Unfortunately, the drought will continue to persist for the Texas Panhandle and points to the south. Places near and to the east of El Paso is expected to have the drought worsen in those areas. The only region in Texas that continues to remain unscaved so far is the southwest, that was affected by Hurricane Harvey last year.
Improvement - For north Texas, we will likely see improvements later in the season as the upper air pattern causes a chance of rain everyday through the ten day period. Any rain that we get will certainly be a benefactor to stabilizing conditions. Sadly, I can't say the same for our friends in both panhandles.
Wildfire Potential - As we get into spring, the wildfire season kicks in, and I have a feeling that this one will be a bit stronger than previous years. We have already seen some interesting stuff happen on Elevated fire weather days, so no telling what could happen as we get into spring. Each dry front that passes through will also bring windy conditions, which is another fuel for wildfires. I could see conditions for that improving for north and central Texas, but for the panhandle, I can't say the same thing.