Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lack of Rainfall Starting to Take its Toll

The combination of unseasonably warm weather and very little rainfall is leading to very dry soil conditions across East Texas.

As of last week, most of East Texas was labeled as "Abnormally Dry." This is indicated by the yellow shaded region from the figure to your left. The only areas that are not categorized as abnormally dry are Anderson, Cherokee, and parts of Houston county.

Notice, however, that brown shaded area that extends from southern Jasper and Newton counties, eastward to Louisiana. This is a "Moderate Drought" that continues to slowly expand westward each day that goes by that we don't see any measurable rainfall.
Even though we are not officially in a drought, we are headed in that direction and just one category away from being bumped up to that drought status.
Every weeknight at 6 and 10pm, I give you an update on the lake levels from across the Texas Forsest Country. Notice how the major lakes are now below normal. This has been a trend over the past month and will continue barring any soaking rain showers.
In the meantime, keep those sprinkler systems running and try to water your yards in the early morning hours (4-6am). By doing it in the pre-dawn hours, you will maximize the amount of moisture that the soils will soak up. That is when the humidity is at its highest, and therefore, the water will be able to soak into those dry soils with a slow evaporation rate.