From La Niña to El Niño? Possibly
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The 2022 drought didn’t turn out to be as severe as that of 2011, but it still caused widespread economic damage to crops and livestock, as well as shrinking water-supply reservoirs. As the state heads into 2023, Dr. Mark Wentzel, hydrologist with the Texas Water Development Board, is among forecasters predicting an end to the conditions that resulted in reduced rainfall and warmer temperatures for the last few years.
“The National Weather Service is expecting that La Niña will dissipate, and then, possibly by the summer to next fall, we might actually be in El Niño conditions, the opposite to La Niña. And those conditions (could) actually bring Texas a wetter and cooler winter than is normal,” Wentzel wrote.
The most severe drought now is centered in the Texas Hill Country, in Kendall and surrounding counties, and in the extreme northern boundary of the Texas Panhandle. Drought conditions have ended in East and Southeast Texas.
Wentzel wrote he expects “some easing” of drought conditions this spring.