July 27, 2007
Further dispatches from the "Good news, bad news" files

Good news:

Plentiful rains throughout Texas the past year led weather officials today to declare an end to drought conditions across the state for the first time in at least a decade.

"We've gotten so much rain this year we've pretty much made up for the past few years' drought conditions in several areas of the state," said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state's climatologist and a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.

Only isolated areas in the northern Panhandle, far West Texas and along the eastern margins of the state are still below normal, he said.

Bad news:

"If there's enough rain to say we're drought-free, that means there's enough water around to cause other problems," Nielsen-Gammon said.

Flooding persists in some areas, and many farmers are struggling to salvage crops that remain under water, he said.

Heavy rains have caused major flooding in several parts of the state since mid-June. At least 16 people have died, and property damage has been widespread. Numerous rivers remain at or above flood level.

Good news:

The same pattern that brought rain has provided cooler temperatures throughout the state this summer, a trend that Nielsen-Gammon said is likely to continue for several weeks.

Bad news: Well, as I said before, all this rain we've had means that if any kind of tropical storm were to come through in the near future, I fear that flooding would be way worse than usual. So keep your fingers crossed.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 27, 2007 to Hurricane Katrina