Drought Update: Nearing two years since all of South Central Texas was drought-free

This week’s drought monitor shows drought conditions have once again expanded

The last time all of the KSAT-12 viewing area was considered "drought free" was in September of 2021.

Over 680 days. That’s how long it’s been since the entire KSAT-12 viewing area was considered drought-free.

What’s the latest rainfall update and how does the drought monitor look now? Let’s chat about it below:

Key Points

  • Drought conditions have been present in at least parts of South Central Texas since September 2021
  • The latest drought monitor shows drought conditions continue to expand
  • This follows the 2nd driest year on record in San Antonio: 2022
  • As of July 27, the year 2023 is over 5 inches below the average rainfall amount to date
  • No significant rain chances are in the forecast over the next seven days

Drought Monitor

While the past (almost) two years have featured ups and downs when it comes to the drought in South Central Texas, the last time the entire KSAT-12 viewing areas was free of any drought classification was back in early September 2021.

A few pockets of abnormally dry conditions were found in southern Val Verde and Maverick counties at this time, but actual drought had been erased from our area. That started to change, though, through the remainder of the year. By early January 2022, moderate, severe, and even some extreme drought had crept back into the area. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Drought comparison from September 2021 to January 2022. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

It’s no secret that 2022 wasn’t kind to us in the rainfall department. Thinking back, 2022 officially measured in as the 2nd driest year on record in San Antonio with only 11.51 inches of rain recorded.

By the beginning of August 2022, exceptional drought had expanded across the majority of South Central Texas. Thankfully by the end of the year, rounds of rain had improved some of those conditions, but pockets of extreme and exceptional drought were still in place across the central portions of the region.

Drought comparison from August 2022 to December 2022. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (KSAT)

Fast forward to July 2023, and many of us still have to deal with the drought. Here’s what the latest drought monitor (as of July 25) looks like:

The latest drought monitor shows that drought conditions continue to expand across South Central Texas.

Rainfall Update

It sure would be nice to find some rain that would help alleviate this drought and improve our rainfall totals!

Here are a few rainfall stats from both the start of the year and the start of meteorological summer, showing our below-average standings in San Antonio:

We have a lot of work to do in the rainfall department, with below average totals in place in San Antonio so far this year.

Any significant/widespread rain chances are unfortunately not in the forecast over the next week, but here’s hoping we can find a more notable pattern change in August! We’ll keep you posted.

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About the Author:

Meteorologist Mia Montgomery joined the KSAT Weather Authority Team in September 2022. As a Floresville native, Mia grew up in the San Antonio area and always knew that she wanted to return home. She previously worked as a meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan-College Station and is a fourth-generation Aggie.