Parts of Rio Grande Valley under extreme drought

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Photo showing the current drought situation in the Rio Grande Valley. (Source: KGBT Photo)

Several parts across the Valley are seeing abnormally dry conditions and above-average temperatures.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is categorizing parts of Cameron and Hidalgo County under “dry” and Starr County under “moderate” to “extreme.”

The National Weather Service says there needs to be a pattern change in order for drought conditions to change.

“What we need to see is a pattern change, that would show the ability of the atmosphere to produce more of a steady rain, even embed thunderstorms, even some warmer air that comes with it that produces downpours,” said Barry Goldsmith meteorologist with the National Weather Service Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley.

The drought has a direct impact on farmers and ranchers.

Ovi Atkinson, a farmer in Cameron County, says the drought has affected him in the past.

“We are OK right now. But if it doesn’t rain in a month or so then we are going to be in trouble,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson says droughts limit cattle feed making them skinnier and harder to sell. It also limits the water for crop irrigation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set up a program to help those who are directly affected by the drought, click here for more information.

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