Lack of rain threatens to pull Houston back into a drought.

Published On: Nov 12 2012 08:58:49 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 12 2012 08:59:11 PM CST
Rainfall Deficit Graph

January, February, and March of this year were very wet months around the Houston area.

The surplus of rain from those three months helped to propel us out of our drought and set us on the right track -- for awhile. Since then, periods of dry weather have slowly but surely reduced our rainfall surplus until, after an extremely dry October, we've actually fallen behind in total rainfall for the year-to-date.

In October, Intercontinental airport recorded only one inch of rain, which is almost five inches below normal. That, combined with a two inch rainfall deficit in September and a current 1.3 inch deficit for November, puts us at four inches below normal for the year.  We've gotten 39 inches of rain so far in 2012, compared to 43 inches that we'd have in a normal year.

All things considered, we could be in much worse shape. We stand at a 10% below normal rainfall for 2012. Last year, at the very worst part of our drought, we were over 60% below normal. That was during the September-October time frame of 2011.  We've got a long way to go to match those numbers, but if the current trend continues, a drier-than-normal winter could lead to moderate drought here at the beginning of the growing season in 2013.