While events like the rain that is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow are helping to push back the drought, forecasters are now much less optimistic about our chances for long term relief, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

  "The seasonal drought outlook is now much more pessimistic than previous projections," the Texas Water Development Board said in its newest weekly outlook.

  Periodic rainfall this winter has helped push back the drought level.  Only 40% of the state is in drought now, compared with 48% three months ago.  Bexar County remains in the least severe of the four levels of drought, 'moderate drought' while much of the surrounding area, including to the east and northeast of San Antonio, are out of the drought entirely.

  The TWDB says the regular winter rainfalls are helping refill reservoirs which are used across the state for drinking water. 

  But it says the projections of a strong 'El Nino' system which would end the drought this winter and spring are evaporating.

  "Where the state is in drought, drought is expected to continue or intensify over the next three months," according to the latest U.S. Drougth Monitor.

  Indeed, while the San Antonio area just last month was listed in the category of 'drought remains but improves' the region has now been shifted to the category of 'droguht persists or intensifies.'