HOUSTON -

The latest drought monitor update issued by the National Drought Mitigation Center shows that we're getting drier in southeast Texas.  Despite pockets of heavy rain over the past several days -- over 2 inches in some places -- we continue to move in the wrong direction.

The problem is that the areas that get heavy rain on any given day are very isolated.  The majority of the region sees little to no rain.  Considering the region as a whole, we're not getting enough widespread rain to maintain soil moisture levels.  That is not good.

SE Texas Drought 18 June

The area of Texas hardest hit by drought includes the panhandle and North Texas extending to just west of the Dallas Fort Worth area.  The good news -- for us, at least -- is that the southeast part of the state is faring much better.  Some areas, especially east of Houston, are deemed drought-free.  However, as you go west, moderate to severe drought is commonplace and these areas are beginning to spread east.  We're even seeing areas of extreme drought pop up in some spots.

The unnerving aspect of the situation is that, as the drought begins to creep back, our chances for rain are diminishing.  Over the next week we have little, if any, chance for rain as a high pressure ridge builds over the state.  Dry skies combined with temperatures easily making the mid-90s each day will quickly exacerbate the problem.

And, we're only in the early part of summer.  As temperatures continue to climb the drought could intensify at an increasingly rapid pace.