Dallas area is officially no longer in drought

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 02, 2012 2:13 PM
Dallas area is officially no longer in drought

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - The Dallas-Fort Worth area is no longer in drought, the first sign of relief for any region of drought-stricken Texas since last summer.

A U.S. Drought Monitor report on Thursday classified about 4.9 percent of the state to be drought-free. That area includes about a 15-county swath of North Texas encompassing Dallas-Fort Worth.

"The 3 to 5 inches of rain we received last week pushed us over the edge," said National Weather Service meteorologist Ted Ryan. "Those were very beneficial rains for the DFW area."

However, more than 90 percent of the state remains in drought, with nearly 60 percent in extreme drought and more than 27 percent in the worst category of exceptional drought.

Last year was the driest year on record in Texas and the second-hottest, according to the National Weather Service.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, lake levels remain low.

"DFW is on the precipice right now," Ryan said. "It could go either way. The area could slip back into drought or it could return to normal."

The long-term prediction is for continued warm temperatures and below-average rainfall, Ryan said.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Daniel Trotta)