Heavy Rain Brings Texas Drought Relief, But Just a Drop in the Bucket

Heavy rainfall last week helped to alleviate some of the drought plaguing the Texas Panhandle (as well as parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico), but overall it was a drop in the bucket towards bringing the area back to normal.

The percentage of Texas in the worst level of drought — "Exceptional Drought" — dropped from 25% on May 20 to just 10% on May 27. It sounds good on paper (and looks good in the rain gauges), but almost the entire area that dropped out of Exceptional Drought are now classified as experiencing the next level down: "Extreme Drought."

Heavy Rain Brings Texas Drought Relief, But Just a Drop in the Bucket

Last week's rainfall totals across the most heavily-impacted drought areas varied between 2 inches and 5 inches near Lubbock. As of May 30, Lubbock is actually two one-hundredths of an inch above normal for the year, recording 6.13 inches of rain since January 1. Amarillo is an inch and a half below normal so far this year, and Borger, Texas is more than 5 inches behind average.

Heavy Rain Brings Texas Drought Relief, But Just a Drop in the Bucket

The Weather Prediction Center's 7-day precipitation forecast shows a little more rain over the affected areas — on the order of a few inches — but it still won't have a big impact on the drought in the long run. Every little bit helps, though.

It's worth mentioning that there's also no relief in sight for California; 51% of the state is still experiencing an "Extreme Drought."

[Images via U.S. Drought Monitor / NWS / WPC]