Obviously there's no secret about the drought we are currently experiencing across the Brazos Valley and the State of Texas. We've talked about it plenty -- not to mention it just takes a quick glance at your brown, dry lawn to realize that things aren't as green as they normally are at this time of the year.
The Office of the State Climatologist, housed on Texas A&M's campus, came out with a statement that this is now considered the third worst drought in the state's history. It'll follow behind the drought of the 50s (roughly 1951-1956) and the drought of 1918. The only factor holding this current drought behind the others is that we are only in year one of it. Residents of Texas in the teens and the 50s experienced multiple years under intense drought conditions.
The National Weather Service Office of Houston / Galveston, which holds primary watch over the Brazos Valley, came out with a new drought information statement on Thursday. While there has been recent rainfall to Southeast Texas, it has not been anywhere close to enough to help even make a slight dent in our current, dry situation.
Over the past 252 days -- from October 1, 2010 to today -- College Station has only received 9.79" of rain. That makes this the second driest October 1 to June 9 in our backyard. It gets even worse for Houston, who has only received one day of measurable rainfall over the past 86 at Hobby Airport.
When looking to see when this drought fully came about -- we have to go way back to 2008, right after the time of Hurricane Ike. The Brazos Valley received more than its need of rain as the storm passed, but the years to follow have been more than dry. Here's a list of the past years break down:
Normal College Station Annual Rainfall: 39.67"
2011: -10.07" (as of June 9th)
As if all of this wasn't bad enough, this current drought is being amplified by the fact that we have already had temperatures continuously run unseasonally hot. A few days have topped 100 degrees, and the past 2-4 weeks daytime highs have been running 5-10 degrees above normal.
The sliver lining? La Nina -- the culprit for our lack of rain -- seems to have finally subsided. That being said, it is too little too late for this time of the year. Our summer months usually bring bone dry conditions as it is. So for now, we'll have to wait to see how the tropics shape up over the coming summer months, and then hold our breath that this fall shapes up better rain-wise than the beginning of 2011 has.