Drought conditions in the Valley improve

Drought conditions in the Valley improve
MGN Online
Weather Talk
Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 4:20pm

The drought conditions in the Valley has been improving since May of this year.

The National Weather Service released a report where they say things are looking up for South Texas.

The first part of the month of May was dominated by an upper wave that moved across the Rockies then the Central Plains and into the south dumping much needed rain across the region through the end of the month.

Rainfall accumulations ranged from 4.49 inches to 0.25 inches in McCook.

According to the latest United States drought monitor the abundant rainfall has eased drought conditions across much of deep South Texas.

Most of deep South Texas return to normal conditions with abnormally dry conditions (d0) still remaining over western Zapata and Starr counties extending eastward into portion of Kenedy County.

Small pocket of (d1) still exists over western Hidalgo and eastern Starr County.

No (d2)severe drought conditions noted across south Texas in the latest drought monitor.

Drought conditions have temporarily improve but lack of rain across deep south Texas in June may affect agricultural interests, public and private entities ecology and hydrology.

Agricultural Impacts:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture and Texas Agrilife Extension Service agents say soil moisture ranged from 60 to 100 percent adequate in Cameron,Willacy and Brooks Counties while 50 to 80 percent short was noted in Kenedy, Zapata and Starr.

In addition, Hidalgo County was 100 percent short. Cotton, Corn and Sorghum were progressing well.

In Hidalgo County, citrus harvesting was winding down.

Cantaloupe and honeydew harvesting began in Starr County. Rangeland and pasture were in fair to good condition.

Livestock were in good conditions as well.

Side note: Catagories of drough conditions are as follows:

D4 = exceptional drought conditions are characterized by exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses with exceptional fire risk and shortages of water in reservoirs streams and wells creating water emergencies.

D3 = extreme drought conditions are characterized by major
crop/pasture losses along with extreme fire danger and widespread water shortages or restrictions.

D2 = severe drought conditions are characterized by crop or pasture losses. Fire risk is very high with some water shortages. If water is needed they would be typically voluntary or locally mandated. D2 drought is defined as a 1 in 10 year drought.

D1 = moderate conditions are characterized by some damage to crops and pastures with high fire risk and stream and reservoir levels that are for the most part low. Water shortages start to develop and in some areas voluntary water use restrictions may be requested.

D0 = abnormally dry conditions signal the possible onset of drought with slow crop growth elevated fire risk danger to above average.

Remember that drought is the leading hazard in economic loses each year in the United States.

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