Dry, hot conditions led to widespread intensification and expansion of drought across Texas, where daytime highs routinely reached into the upper 80s and lower to middle 90s. In Oklahoma, despite somewhat cooler weather, conditions likewise deteriorated under sunny skies. By week’s end, soil moisture percentile rankings depicted D3 (Extreme Drought) or worse from southeastern Oklahoma into most of central and eastern Texas. In addition, 6-, 9- and 12-month Standardized Precipitation Indices (SPI) likewise reflected D3 or D4 conditions over much of this same region. Remote sensing data (in particular, the Vegetation Health Index) depicted widespread vegetation stress across southern Oklahoma and much of Texas. Meanwhile, from South Texas into the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos regions, 3- and 6-month SPI likewise correlated with Extreme Drought (D3) or greater. To further illustrate the drought’s impacts, winter wheat crop condition rated 62 and 46 percent very poor to poor in Texas and Oklahoma, respectively, as of March 27. It should be noted that many drought indicators in east-central Texas have reached the Exceptional Drought (D4) level, and if rain does not materialize soon, intensification of the current drought is likely. The remaining drought regions in northern and central Texas continued to depict worsening conditions as well, as the lingering benefits of late-winter rainfall quickly give way to dry, hot weather.
NotesNOAA tweet (@JustinNOAA) on monitor report: March was one of driest on record in Texas, including in DFW. Drought and wildfire threats continue
The source article US Drought Monitor was published March 31, 2011 by US Department of Agriculture .