15 More Years of Texas Drought? Say it isn’t so

Oct 9, 2013

Credit texscience.org

Experts predict above-average temperatures and lower-than-normal moisture amounts will be seen in the months ahead — and possibly as much as 15 more years according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

John Nielsen-Gammon is the Texas state climatologist and a professor with Texas A&M University’s department of atmospheric sciences.  He says long-term temperature patterns from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are comparable to those from what he considers the worst drought of record, in the 1950s. For that reason, he estimates Texas’ drought susceptibility could continue another five to 15 years.

“It’s very possible this drought may last several more years,” he told A-J Media in a phone interview.

Ron McQueen is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lubbock.  He agreed the chances for upcoming heavy rainfall do not appear promising.

“We don’t see any indications that we’ll go into a wet winter,” he said.  Further into the future gets more difficult to predict, he added.

Recovering from drought takes more than average rainfall.  Years of drought create a deficit normal weather patterns cannot change.  That has far reaching implications, and the “what-ifs” are daunting.