Drought Update: Spring 2015

Drought has plagued the western and southwestern regions of the US for years, with the highly populous states of Texas and California being particularly hard hit. In recent weeks, however, plentiful spring rain has brought the Lone Star state some much needed, if not complete, relief.

According to the latest report from the US Drought Monitor, exceptional drought, the worst possible category is no longer present in Texas. This is the first time this has happened since July 2012. While this is good news, other categories of drought still persist across 36% of the massive state. The intense rain has also caused flooding.

California, in its fourth year of drought, also received some much-needed rainfall recently. On Thursday, San Diego received 1.63 inches of rain making it their wettest May since 1921. This impressive daily total was not only unusual as the region is now in its “dry season”, but was also more than that city typically gets all summer. Despite this recent rain in the southern part of the state, 98% of California remains in some form of drought with nearly 50% in exceptional drought.

The Drought Monitor is a weekly publication produced by a partnership of government agencies, including the National Drought Mitigation Center, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.