Drought officially returns to the Brazos Valley

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BRYAN, Tx. (KBTX) -- With a year-to-date deficit of two and a half inches of rain, parts of the Brazos Valley have slipped back into a drought.

Per the Drought Monitor released at 7am February 8th, the Central and Northern Brazos Valley are classified under a Moderate Drought (tan). This is a change from last week's monitor where only the northern tier of the Brazos Valley fell under that classification.

While the area has seen a few weeks of scattered light rain throughout the Brazos Valley, it has not been enough to erase the dry conditions. Most of the area has not seen a significant rainfall since Hurricane Harvey. In fact, only the Southeastern Brazos Valley is considered to be above or at average for soil moisture, do to the lasting impacts from Harvey's rainfall.

Across Texas, over 75% of the state found worsening conditions between last week and this week's monitor. Where the issues are most glaring is the Texas Panhandle, Southern Plains and along the Red River from Childress to Wichita Falls where an Extreme Drought has settled in. Some parts of Texas have not had a measurable rainfall in over 100 days, including Amarillo.

As of this week, only 9.76% of Texas is considered to be out of any sort of drought condition. 64.88% is in a Moderate Drought or worse; up almost 8.5% from last week.

If there is a silver lining: no part of Texas is considered to be in an Exception Drought, the worst category possible to achieve.

Burn bans are in effect for Brazos, Burleson, Lee, Milam, and Robertson Counties.

Measurements & soil moisture conditions are collected every Tuesday morning, the Drought Monitor is released each Thursday morning at 7am CDT.