92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 1:45 PM
Climatological Context and Impacts of the 2011 Drought in Texas
Room 354 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Victor W. Murphy, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX

The 2011 south central United States drought was noteworthy in both its geographic scope and rapid onset, with Texas at the epicenter. By the end of the summer of 2011, Texas had set numerous records for driest consecutive month periods, and the drought ranked among the very worst in the state's history. Impacts from the drought have been correspondingly significant and historic across the state. Over three million acres burned due to wildfires, the largest yearly amount on record. Agriculture and livestock losses in Texas exceeded $6 billion, and nearly 700 Community Water Systems throughout the state had either voluntary or mandatory water restrictions in place.

In this paper, the historical nature of the 2011 drought in Texas is highlighted, including its climatological context within the historical record and its likely causal factors. Additionally, the role of NOAA/NWS drought products and services used to inform decision makers at the federal, state, and local level is discussed.

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