Severe drought, heat in Central Texas worst since summer of 2011

Central Texas is in a severe drought right now thanks to unseasonable heat and the lack of precipitation, and it's bringing flashbacks to a similar situation more than a decade ago.

Good Day Austin meteorologist Zack Shields says that the dry ground and hot temperatures can feed off each other. When there is more heat this will lead to more evaporation drying out the ground and killing the vegetation. The drier the ground there will be less energy absorbed so the temperatures climb. 

When that happens it is hard to break up and Zack says you would need a major shift in the weather pattern or a tropical system impacting the area, something he doesn't see happening anytime soon. 

The drought is so severe in the Hill Country, that 14" to 18" of rain will need to fall west of Austin in order to get rid of the drought. Llano and San Saba just went through the driest November to April ever. It would take half a foot of rain to saturate the ground before we get run-off. 

This is bringing back flashbacks to the Summer of 2011. If you compare May 2022 to the one in 2011 the drought is not as severe or extreme. In May of 2011, 98% of Texas was in drought mode compared to 80% now. Back then half the state was in exceptional drought, and we are only at 20% now. 

We still have time to experience some much needed rain in May and June to slow down the heat. If the rain doesn't show up we could be in for 70 to 80 100-degree days and fall short of the record of 90 in the summer of 2011. 

The only wildcard would be multiple tropical systems taking aim on Texas this Summer. This could keep the number of 100-degree days lower. It's a possibility since we are expecting a busy tropical season. Stay tuned and buckle up for a long and hot Summer.

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