Moisture Levels and Water Availability Look Good for Most of Texas

Moisture levels in most of the state appear adequate or better, but producers in some areas are still hoping for rain.

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist, College Station, said rain events over the past two weeks delivered quality rains to much of the state, benefitting Texas crops and available surface water.

Some moisture-stressed areas received measurable rains this past week, but some areas missed out, he said.

“It seems like the Panhandle missed out on recent rains that were in the forecast,” he said. “There’s been a lot of expansion in that area with regard to unusual dryness.”

Nielsen-Gammon said June is typically a wet month for the Panhandle, but short-term forecasts for weather patterns across most of the state will bring drier conditions.

The Texas Water Development Board Water reservoir tracking map showed more than 87 percent of reservoirs monitored by the agency were full. The few reservoirs that were water stressed were located near San Angelo and in the Panhandle.

Nielsen-Gammon said multiple counties received rains that would relieve concerns, including Young, Stephens and Throckmorton counties. Much of Throckmorton County received more than 8 inches.

Kloey Cargill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent, Throckmorton County, said the city of Throckmorton received 10 inches of rain over six hours last week. Areas of town had to be evacuated due to fears that a nearby lake levee might be compromised by the downpour.

Cargill said the downpour caused some damage to a local Little League baseball field but that there were no reports of livestock losses or damage to producer operations. The rain did fill surface water impoundments in time for summer.

“It was pretty dry,” she said. “Everyone was praying for rain. We needed moisture because it’s been three months since our last good rain. But there is standing water in a lot of places still, and stock tanks are overflowing.”

Nielsen-Gammon said the area in and around those three counties averaged 3 inches of rain. But there is still a moisture shortage for the year.

“Swaths of the southeastern part of the Panhandle, including Cottle and Donley counties, have received 25 percent of their normal rainfall for the past 30 days and 50 percent of their normal rainfall for the past 60 days.”

Nielsen-Gammon said the South region “had been doing better lately.

“Brownsville is still dry, but Live Oak County and a lot of places between were helped this past week,” he said.

In other regions of the state, including East Texas and southeastern portions, rain has provided adequate moisture. Recent rain events over the past two weeks have provided surplus, even detrimental surplus to those regions.

Reports from East Texas indicate corn field losses in low-lying areas due to standing water.

“As of late March, Beaumont was running 8 inches below normal for the calendar year,” he said. “It’s now 1 inch above normal.”

AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here.

Source: Texas AgriLife Extension

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