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Drought improvement for the I-35 corridor; still top level drought for the Hill Country

How has recent rain helped with our drought? See the week-by-week comparison.

AUSTIN, Texas — The month of April brought much-needed rain and drought relief to Central Texas. Austin recorded 4.18 inches of rain, which is 1.76 inches over the monthly average.

We are now moving into May, which is historically the wettest month of the year with over 5 inches of rain on average. We are hoping to continue our recent drought improvement this month, but let's start by analyzing our most recent drought monitor updates. 

Below, you can use the slider to compare last week's drought monitor to this week's update. You'll notice that the "abnormally dry" conditions east of Interstate 35 have been nearly eliminated, and much of the I-35 corridor has also seen a noticeable improvement.

Unfortunately, the Hill Country, which needs the rain the most, has not been so lucky. Just 35 miles separate "exceptional" drought over western Hays County from no drought at all in northern Caldwell Country.

Let's start with the positive: along and east of I-35 most areas have received anywhere from 3 inches to 10 inches of rain over the past 30 days. Thirty days ago, much of the Austin metro was experiencing "severe" to "extreme" drought. Now conditions are only "abnormally dry," which is considered a precursor to drought. 

The bad news is that much of Gillespie and Blanco counties are still experiencing top-level "exceptional" drought. Most of these areas have managed to pick up rainfall totals ranging from a half-inch to as much as 3 inches of rain over the past 30 days, but much more is needed before drought conditions end. 

The May rainfall outlook suggests above-normal precipitation, and we are hopeful that this should continue to bring drought improvements. However, in the month of May, we also need to be mindful of flash flooding. 

The KVUE Weather Team will be watching things for you all month long.

Hunter Williams on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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