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Texas City breaks two-year drought

Meteorologists celebrated on social media Thursday after learning that Austin, Texas, was completely free of drought for the first time in more than two years.

Texas has been experiencing a severe drought for years, causing water levels in many lakes, reservoirs and rivers to drop. Last summer, the water level at Lake Travis near Austin dropped low enough to expose features beneath the lake’s surface, including a concrete factory, houses, docks and a pecan grove where trees stand as tall as 100 feet. Earlier this spring, a series of moisture-laden storms eased drought conditions in eastern Texas, although many of the storms missed the Austin area.

However, the most recent update to the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that Travis County, where Austin is located, is completely free of drought. In addition, drought conditions in nearby areas have improved significantly.

The Texas city is breaking a two-year drought
Pictured is the cityscape above Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, on April 13, 2009. For the first time in more than two years, Travis County, where Austin is located, is completely free of drought.

Getty

“Great news with today’s drought update! We saw improvements in drought conditions across much of the Southwest Hill Country and metro Austin,” meteorologist Kristen Currie of Austin TV station KXAN posted on X (formerly Twitter) . “We are now completely drought free in Travis County (yellow is not considered drought) and out of extreme and exceptional drought across the area.”

Meteorologist Avery Tomasco of Austin TV station KEYE wrote: “For the first time in 26 months, the CBS Austin viewing area is not in extreme or exceptional drought. There is still a long way to go for the southern Hill Country, but fantastic news nonetheless. “

More than 86 percent of Travis County is experiencing normal conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map. The rest of the province is considered “abnormally dry”.

As of last week, only 44 percent of the province was drought-free, with more than 55 percent considered “abnormally dry” and almost 15 percent experiencing moderate drought. A year ago, conditions were even worse, with 43 percent of the province experiencing moderate drought and 7 percent experiencing severe drought.

The latest data shows that nearly 55 percent of Texas is now completely free of drought. Only 2 percent of the state is experiencing extreme drought. More than 12 percent are experiencing severe drought and 25 percent are experiencing moderate drought. The worst drought is in south-central and western Texas.

However, the state is entering the dry season, National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Yura said Newsweek.

“We’re pretty much done with getting major weather systems,” he said, adding that things could dry out again soon.

Adding to the concern, Lake Travis water levels remain low. On Thursday, the reservoir was only 41 percent full.