Recent rains have helped to dent our drought and cause area lakes to rise. Even though the La Niña weather pattern continues, we've seen quite a few drenching downpours since November. The above graph shows over 4" in each of the last three months, a trend that has us moving in the right direction.
Each week, the National Weather Service puts out a drought monitor. The levels of drought range as follows: dry, moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional. Last fall, our drought reached its worse stage as ALL of southeast Texas was classified as being under an exceptional drought, the highest level of drought:
In each of the last three months, it's only rained an average of 5 days per month. That doesn't seem like a lot, but each time it has rained, we've had substantial amounts. Here's what the drought monitor looks like at the end of January:
The deep, dark red areas have turned brown. In other words, the exceptional drought has been reduced to severe drought over parts of southeast Texas. There are still quite a few counties whose drought level remains classified as exceptional and extreme, but it is a step in the right direction. Our next rain chance comes in the middle of next week.