Texas Rainfall in May Set Records, Killed Drought, Replenished Water Supply

Three weeks ago, we told you that Texas' almost three years long drought was finally, thankfully, breaking. The latest numbers released by the U.S. Drought Monitor Thursday show that, save for a couple limited dry areas in West Texas and the Panhandle, Texas isn't even experiencing any "abnormal dryness," the lowest level of drought measured by the monitoring center.

Over the last week, according to the Drought Monitor, portions of DFW received as much as 8 inches of rain, the most in the country. As a whole, Texas averaged 8.81 inches of rain for the month of May, making May 2015 the wettest recorded month in Texas history.

All that water has refilled the state's reservoirs. Six months ago, the state's reservoirs were 62.5 percent full. Thursday? The number was 83.4 percent. A few reservoirs in the remaining dry areas are under capacity, but almost all of the eastern half of the state's are at or near capacity.

DFW airport took just 141 days in 2015 to get more rain (21.54 inches) than all of 2014 (21.32 inches). Much of the rain can be attributed to El Niño, which is expected to stick around — bringing rain, sleet and snow with it — through next winter.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young