Heavy Rains Don’t Mean Drought Threat Is Gone

This week's heavy rains in the Houston area don't mean Southeast Texas is in the clear when it comes to the threat of drought. That's the word from experts who monitor the drought that's affected Texas for several years now.

Even though the last few weeks have been wetter, parts of Southeast Texas and the Houston area still fall into the “abnormally dry” category on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. Mark Svoboda helps put together the map.

“The short-term improvement, we have to keep it and couch it in the context of the longer-term dryness, which is still very much there if you just go back a few months, certainly back into last fall and over the last year, those deficits, even in the Houston, Beaumont area, are still pretty significant.” 
He says the recent heavy rains here help keep plants alive in the short term, but the long-term water deficits are what we should worry about.

“When you look at the overall water supply and what’s getting into the soil moisture, when you have a deficit that keeps accumulating over the longer period, that’s still a little bit of a concern, just from a long-term drought prospective. In the short-term, it’s great for greening-up ards and things like that. We just need to keep an eye on it as Houston seems to be right on the very eastern edge of this drought.”

Large parts of South Texas are still in extreme drought. Svoboda says it’s hard to predict what kind of summer we’ll have, but he says we should be better off than we were a couple of years ago.