Too Dry? Climatologist Says Houston Still Needs More Rain

With spring almost officially here, climate experts here in Texas are hoping for a wetter spring to offset what has been a dry fall and winter.

It’s not as bad as it was a couple of years ago, but the last few months have been pretty dry here in Houston and across Texas. Rainfall totals for last month came in at about half what they were last February and the U.S. Drought Monitor still shows big parts of the Houston area as “abnormally dry”.

John Nielsen-Gammon is the Texas State Climatologist. 

“This could lay the groundwork for dry conditions and problems later on in the spring because usually there’s plenty of moisture in the ground. Plants that are planted or ready to grow in the spring are all set and right now we’re running a bit short on water. It’s been relatively dry this fall and winter and so basically it’s a yellow flag situation rather than a red flag.”

Nielsen-Gammon says Houston is still far better off than many parts of Texas.

“Lake Livingston is near capacity and so forth, but there are parts of Central, South Texas and North Texas that are looking at reservoirs that are less than half full and are really a concern. At this point, since Houston is in the wetter, eastern part of the state, they can recover from drought faster. They did get water back up to normal after the 2011 drought, whereas for most of Texas, this is the third straight year of drought and counting.”

According to data from the Harris County Flood Control District, no area inside the Beltway has had more than 2 inches of rain over the past month.