September 27, 2010. For most of the state of Texas, that’s the date that the 2011 Texas drought began. As we approach the one-year mark, there’s increasing concern about the possibility of a second year of drought, or even that we might be in a drought that will last five years, ten years, or longer. Some very new research sheds some light on that possibility.
For most of the state, the drought of record was 1950-1957. The peak of the drought in most of the state was 1956, which set the 12-month record. We’re on the verge of breaking it, but there’s an outside chance a very wet weather pattern will set up next week. Don’t give up hope.
This post will discuss the prospects of the drought continuing another year and beyond. The longer it goes, the more likely it will surpass the previous drought of record. Indeed, in parts of East Texas, such as Lufkin, the past five years have already been the driest five years on record. And 2011 was so dry and hot, it’s as though we’ve already had two years of drought....
What about a third year, or a fourth year? At this point, all I can say is that we’re in a period of frequent Texas drought until further notice. This period, with both the Pacific and Atlantic working against us, might be over in a couple of years, or it might last another fifteen or twenty years. It seems likely to last another decade.