HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – There is good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news first; the drought has seen some improvement over the last week. The bad news is there still is a lot more rainfall needed.
The United States Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday. This week’s update shows that McAllen and Weslaco left the “extreme” category, downgrading to “severe.”
So far, for the month of April, McAllen is only running 0.07 inches below normal rainfall, thanks to last Saturday’s rainfall. Last week, the mid to upper Valley saw 0.25 to 4 inches of rain when thunderstorms moved across the region.
Unfortunately, the McAllen area is still down 2.07 inches of rainfall since the start of the year.
Brownsville did see some rainfall last Saturday, but the city remains in the “moderate” drought status.
Harlingen, which missed out on the majority of Saturday’s rainfall, is one of the drier locations in the Lower Valley, with 3.29 inches below normal rainfall since January 1.
Our lake reservoirs, Falcon and Amistad continue to be down as well. Each is down more than 2.5 feet over the last 30 days.
The reservoirs are major factors in the amount of water available for municipal and agricultural usage. If the drought continues, lake levels will be important when local officials decide possible water restrictions.
Looking ahead into the month of May, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s 30-day outlook has both “drier than normal” and “warmer than normal” conditions expected.
If this forecast becomes a reality and continues into the summer months, expect the drought to stay in place for at least several more months.