Texas finally received rain over the first weekend in October. But as the Drought Monitor shows, while the portion of the state under exceptional drought has dropped a little, 99% of the state is still under severe drought, just as it was last week.
The L.A. Times reported:
Texas has finally received some rain, but the weekend deluge has yet to make a dent in the yearlong drought that weather experts say could last a decade.
Some cities set daily rainfall records last weekend, prompting flash-flood warnings, including Waco, which received 5.83 inches of rain Sunday. Houston, in the midst of its driest year and after enduring its hottest summer on record, received 5.11 inches of rain, another daily record. Dallas got 1.37 inches.
Deluges are not the ideal solution to a drought because of the possibility of flash floods and massive runoff. What’s needed is slow but steady rain. Unfortunately, global warming pushes the extremes in both drought and deluge.
UPDATE: Coincidentally (or not), while I was writing this post, Lubbock was hit by a monster dust storm. Here’s one amazing video (via NY Times) and another is at the end:
A fearsome dust storm whipped through the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas on Monday with wind gusts up to 75 miles an hour in some places…. the monstrous cloud wrapped the city of Lubbock in darkness shortly before 6 p.m.
Tim Oram, a meteorologist at the weather service, said that in Lubbock, the cloud of dust whisked from the ground stretched up to 8,000 feet high and caused zero visibility brown-outs in some places.
“To get to zero visibility, that’s pretty thick,” Mr. Oram said. “That’s what made this one probably a little unusual.”
For background, see USGS on Dust-Bowlification: Drier conditions projected to accelerate dust storms in the U.S. Southwest (which has stunning videos of dust storms in Australia) and NBC: “The Dust Storm that Swallowed Up an American City” (which has stunning videos of this summer’s monster dust storm in Phoenix).
I reported several weeks ago that state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon had predicted: “I’ve started telling anyone who’s interested that it’s likely that much of Texas will still be in severe drought this time next summer, with water supply implications even worse than those we are now experiencing.”
More recently, he did an analysis suggesting the drought could last a decade, which made headlines, but more recently he modified that to “I’d guess the odds that this drought will last five years are only about 25%”: