What is Drought?
Drought is often perceived as a phenomenon associated only with low rainfall areas. However, drought is a recurring natural phenomenon that occurs in virtually all types of climatic zones around the world affecting both high and low rainfall areas. Drought occurs when the long-term regional balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration is lost. This imbalance could be due to a decrease in precipitation, or an increase in evapotranspiration (above average temperature, low relative humidity, and high wind velocity) or both. Above all, an increase in demand by human activities and vegetation in areas with limited water supplies, increases drought severity.
Please visit the National Drought Mitigation Center's web site for more information.
Drought in Texas
Source: Tom Millwee. 2001. State of Texas Drought Preparedness Plan
Drought is a recurring event in Texas. Since it is frequently widespread and can cover several regional climatic areas, the State may incur inconsistent levels of drought intensity from one region to another on a statewide basis. Texas has suffered notable periods of drought since the 1930s with extended periods of drought having affected the State during 1932-1934, 1938-1940, 1947-1948, 1950-1957, and 1960-1967. Drought conditions in 1996 affected Texas, causing greater economic losses to agriculture than any previously recorded one-year drought event. Two years later, the drought of 1998, which was relatively short in duration, caused agricultural impacts with total losses estimated to be just over $6 billion, or slightly higher than those recorded in 1996. In June of 1999, drought conditions returned to the State and continued into 2000.
Please visit the Texas Water Information Network(TxWIN) for more information.