Both last week’s snowfall and August’s Hurricane Harvey are now meterological memories, and Texas is rapidly slipping into a potentially serious drought, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Mark Wentsell of the Texas Water Development Board says you can thank Mother Nature, courtesy of a weather phenomenon called La Nina which has hit in force this winter.
“Which is the cooling of equatorial Pacific, which means we get a warmer and drier average winter,” he said.
To see how quickly La Nina is affecting our weather pattern, the week after Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented rain and flooding to most of Southeast Texas, the Texas Drought Monitor, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, showed just one percent of the state was in any kind of drought. The four levels listed by the Monitor, from abnormally dry to exceptional drought.
Today, nearly three quarters of the state, including all of the metro San Antonio area, are listed as in some level of drought, or at least 'abnormally dry.'
“I am already very concerned about fire, northern Texas and southern Oklahoma, that sort of thing,” he said.
An elevated risk of wildfires has been seen in recent weeks in San Antonio.
No indication how serious the drought will become, but the La Nina effect is generally in place for the entire winter, and winter hasn’t even begun yet.
The Great Drought of 2011 to 2014 began exactly this way. There was a serious La Nina in the winter of 2010-2011 that laid the basis for the worst drought the region has seen in sixty years.