The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update, issued Thursday, shows that the drought in southeast Texas is deepening. Most of the area is mired in severe to extreme drought. Metropolitan Houston falls in the severe category while many areas to the south and west fall in the more severe "extreme" category.
This latest update may come as a surprise. With widespread seven-day rainfall totals of one to four inches across the area this week, one would think that the drought situation here would have improved. Well, that may actually be the case.
The drought monitor is updated weekly based on rainfall totals measured through 7 a.m. every Tuesday. The National Drought Mitigation Center analyzes the data and issues an updated drought monitor on Thursday. Therefore, the latest drought update doesn't include most of Tuesday's and Wednesday's rain, which was significant around Houston. That rainfall will show up on next week's update, and that update will likely show at least slight improvement to our drought situation.
Our recent trend of healthy rain has been good for the area. This far into the summer season, it certainly keeps us in much better shape that we were at this time during the summer of 2011, when we were heading into the worst combination of drought and heat on record in Houston.
Thinking back to 2011 puts things in perspective. Our current drought is not good, but it certainly could be much worse. At this point, all we can hope for is the trend scattered storms to continue, keeping our temperatures down and our trees and grass green!