The 2011 Texas Drought
Vol. 3 No. 1 (2012). Cover photo: Located in far east Texas and stretching into Louisiana, Caddo Lake is known for its extensive forests of bald cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. Photo credit: Texas Water Resources Institute.
PDF

Keywords

drought
Texas
rainfall
records
SPI

Abstract

The 2011 drought in Texas was unprecedented in its intensity. Beginning in October 2010, most of Texas experienced a relatively dry fall and winter, but the record dry March 2011 brought widespread extreme drought conditions to the state. The 12-month rainfall total for October 2010 through September 2011 was far below the previous record set in 1956. Average temperatures for June through August were over 2 °F above the previous Texas record and were close to the warmest statewide summer temperatures ever recorded in the United States. As the drought intensified, the previous year’s relatively lush growth dried out, setting the stage for spring wildfires. Conditions were so dry during the spring planting season across much of the state that many crops never emerged from the ground. Continued dry weather through the summer led to increasing hardship for ranchers, who generally saw very little warm-season grass growth while stock tanks dried up. By early fall, trees in central and eastern Texas were showing widespread mortality, and dry and windy conditions allowed forest fires to burn intensely and spread rapidly in Bastrop and elsewhere. Near-normal rainfall across Texas in October–December improved short-term conditions, but almost the entire state remained in drought.
https://doi.org/10.21423/twj.v3i1.6463
PDF

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
    2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
    3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).