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240

counties with USDA Drought Disaster Designations (primary)

5.0 Million

Texas residents in areas of drought, according to the Drought Monitor

26th

wettest May on record (since 1895)

16th

wettest January—May on record (since 1895)

Current Texas Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of TX
18.9
16.5
10.2
2.4
0.0
29.1
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions

Experimental
Experimental

Drought in the Southern Plains

The Southern Plains region—encompassing Texas, Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and western New Mexico—is characterized by climate extremes. At any given time, part of the region may be in drought while another is experiencing flooding rains. In the hot summer months, a location can flip from normal conditions to drought very quickly. The region is one of the world’s leading agricultural producers; even a very short dry period during a sensitive time in the crop cycle can have impacts on the global economy.

For example, the 2010–2015 Southern Plains drought had far-reaching impacts across economic sectors. Failure of winter wheat and summer crops during 2011 resulted in shortages of food for cattle, which forced farmers to purchase large amounts of hay or sell their herds. Additionally, the drought caused critical municipal water shortages and led to wildfire danger and other ecological impacts.

In 2011, NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) launched the Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders who needed information on drought conditions and the forecasted outlook, but often on different spatial and temporal scales. The Southern Plains DEWS is a network of regional and national partners that share information and coordinate actions to help communities in the region cope with drought. 

Reach out to Joel Lisonbee, the Regional Drought Coordinator for this region, for more information, or sign up for the Southern Plains DEWS newsletter.

Texas Current Conditions

A number of physical indicators are important for monitoring drought, such as precipitation & temperature, water supply (e.g., streamflow, reservoirs), and soil moisture. Learn more about monitoring drought.

Texas Precipitation Conditions

Inches of Precipitation
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%

Texas Temperature Conditions

Maximum Temperature (°F)
60
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0

Texas Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Texas Soil Moisture Conditions

20 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100
0–100 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100

Outlooks & Forecasts for Texas

Predicting drought in Texas depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. View more outlooks & forecasts.

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
1.75
Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures
100%

Drought Outlooks for Texas

Drought Is Predicted To...
Drought Is Predicted To...

Historical Drought Conditions in Texas

Drought is a normal climate pattern that has occurred in varying degrees of length, severity, and size throughout history. Below, you can look back at past drought conditions for Texas according to 3 historical drought indices. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a monthly depiction of drought based on precipitation (with data going back to 1895). And the paleoclimate data uses tree-ring reconstructions to estimate drought conditions before we had widespread instrumental records, going back to the year 0 for some parts of the U.S.  View more historical conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor (2000–present) depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country. Every Thursday, authors from NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center produce a new map based on their assessments of the best available data and input from local observers. The map uses five categories: Abnormally Dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought (D1–D4). Learn more.

Drought Resources for Texas

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

Drought Alert Emails
Get email updates when U.S. Drought Monitor conditions change for your location or a new drought outlook is released.

Southern Plains Drought Status Updates
NIDIS & its partners issue regional updates covering drought conditions, outlooks/forecasts, and local impacts.

Southern Plains Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for the Southern Plains.

Get Involved: Submit Local Drought Impacts

Drought in your area? Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions.