Bye – Bye Drought ‒ For Now!
Jun 12, 2015
For four years Texas and the Southern Great Plains have struggled with drought. The drought started in 2011, spread throughout most of the Lower 48 in 2012 and intensified in Texas and Oklahoma for the next two years.
Four years of drought – June 7, 2011, June 6, 2012, June 11 2013 and June 10, 2014 Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
Compare the Southwestern drought pattern with the latest map from the Drought Monitor.
Isn’t it pretty! (Unless you live west of the Rocky Mountains!) The four – year Texas/Oklahoma drought ended.
As mentioned in the latest blogs, the El Niño has shifted to its standard formation and (when combined with the retreating cold in the north and the Gulf of Mexico monsoon) that brought lots of rain to the Midwest and Great Plains. If you are raising cattle, corn or soybeans, it was a beautiful thing. However, it is important to remember, rainfall patterns change with the seasons.
Compare the historical rainfall patterns for El Niños in springtime and summer. Texas gets lots of rain from an El Niño in spring but the Western Gulf gets very little tropical rainfall (and fewer hurricanes) in summer. The Midwest also historically sees reduced rainfall but typically the rainfall has been timely, falling often enough to produce a good yield.
Typical standard El Niño precipitation patterns in spring and summer Source: NOAA
So Texas, enjoy the end of the drought. While you are at it, enjoy the end of the spring flooding. But, if you party, see if you can store some of that water. It will come in handy in August.