For the first time since last August, drought returns to Central Texas

The drought monitor last showed Central Texas in D1, or “moderate” drought, on August 9th, 2016. It’s been over nine months since Central Texas’ soil has slipped back into “moderate” drought, but this Thursday’s update has almost all of Gillespie County in D1 drought, along with a small sliver of Mason County.

“Abnormally dry” conditions, highlighted in bright yellow, are not technically a form of drought. They’ve shown up over a few different periods between last August and now, but they only indicate short-term low soil moisture. Usually one or two good rain events will cure “abnormally dry” conditions. Austin and Travis County are in this category now.

Weekly soil moisture is tabulated Tuesday to Tuesday every week, and posted every Thursday. Central Texas is facing at least three rain events over the next four days, which could go a long way into making up the soil moisture needed to pull us out of drought. In addition, new outlooks indicate what may be a wetter than normal pattern throughout the summer. Keep checking back with the First Warning Weather Team for updates. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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