Texas State Climatologist Predicts Drought Could Last Through 2020

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Could you imagine another summer as hot and dry as this one?

How about a drought lasting into the year 2020?

The Texas State Climatologist who is also a professor at Texas A&M believes drought conditions may stick around for years to come.

It's feeding time for the cattle at the Broken K-Bar Ranch in Brazos County.

Mike Kristynik's family has been ranching here in Kurten more than 80 years but they've never seen a year like 2011.

"Our biggest concern through the winter is going to be water for our stock fill our stock tanks. If that doesn't happen the prospects of going through another year like we've had this past year are pretty slim," said Kristynik.

He's culled his herd by nearly half after little rain and spent $36,000 on shipping in hay from out of state because there wasn't any to bale here.

On Tuesday around 100 climate scientists met in Fort Worth to look at the future forecast and the news isn't looking good.

"We're probably in a period of drought susceptibility that's gonna last for another ten years or so we've got the heightened likelihood of drought going forward," said John Nielsen-Gammon, Ph.D., the Texas State Climatologist and a Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M.

"With La Nina we tend to be warm and dry in the winter time," he added.

"A big decision that a lot of ranchers have right now is to feed or sell out and we're having to rely on experts to help us with that... So being the optimist that we are in agriculture and ranching you wouldn't see any cows behind me right now if I wasn't an optimist," said Mike Kristynik.

Watching and waiting with all eyes on the skies.

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon expects the La Nina pattern to last at least another year.

All of Texas is considered to be in some form of drought while here in the Brazos Valley we are considered as being in exceptional drought.