July 2, 2009

Texas still suffering severe drought

A Texas A&M University professor says much of Texas is suffering severe drought, with some areas experiencing once-in-a-century dry weather conditions.

Professor John Nielsen-Gammon, who is also Texas' state climatologist, says areas near San Antonio, Victoria and Corpus Christi are reporting record-breaking drought.

According to the National Weather Service, the past 22 months have been among the driest ever for San Antonio, he said. In the Bryan-College Station area, the period from May to June is the second-driest on record, and Houston had its driest-ever period in that time. Central and South Central Texas have been hit pretty hard by this drought, and there's not much hope to see things get better.

He said some areas usually recording at least five inches of rain during May received an inch or less and August-like heat caused many parts of the state to experience the warmest June on record.

Nielsen-Gammon says about 23 percent of Texas is either in an exceptional or extreme drought, and about 24 percent is suffering severe drought conditions.

Unless there is a moderate tropical disturbance that can come up from the coast, it appears this drought is going to last for awhile, he said.