POSTED: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 7:02pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 11:00am
According to experts we are in the 4th worst drought ever in Texas.
We began this year way behind, and when January saw a lot of rain, we got our hopes up.
But since then, the spigot has been turned off, and you see the results every night on the news.
The wildfires that are consuming much of Texas are just one sign of the drought that is among the worst ever in the Lone Star State.
“It’s pretty bad. We ended 2010 well below normal,” says KETK meteorologist Katie Green. “We were over 14 inches below normal just for the calendar year 2010. Then we come into 2011, and so far every month has been an inch or more below normal.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife says, if it doesn’t rain soon, and a lot, the worst may be yet to come…
“We’re experiencing fuel conditions that are like we often times experience during many summers.,” says Jeff Sparks. “Unfortunately right now, we’re in Spring. And Spring brings many winds, cold fronts and low relative humidity. So we’re seeing very explosive fire behavior.”
Rancher Hank Gilbert told us, “From a farming and ranching perspective, whether it’s cattle or crops, when you just don’t have that moisture in the ground deep enough, you just don’t grow what you should. And hay prices are up, if you can find it.”
“We have a lot of ground nesting birds,” Says Nathan Garner of Parks and Wildlife. “And obviously, their nests are going to be impacted by wildfire. Doe deer are going to be dropping their fawns in the next month to six weeks. If we have a dry summer to follow this drought we’re already in, fawns are going to suffer because their mothers may not be able to produce as much milk, and we’re going to see a larger than normal mortality on our fawns.”
So as firefighters battle on, farmers and ranchers wonder if there’ll even be a crop this year, and game wardens worry about the safety of the parks and the game population, we all wonder, will it ever rain again?
Early in the year, the prediction was that the drought wouldn’t last beyond Spring.
No one is making predictions now.