LUBBOCK (AP) - The amount of Texas land classified in one of the worst drought categories more than tripled in one month.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map showed 43 percent of the state on March 29 in extreme drought - the second-most severe stage of dryness. Only about 13 percent of the state was in extreme drought on March 1.
The latest map shows drought conditions across the state are expected to worsen through June, with the wildfire threat remaining extremely high as warmer-than-normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall persist.
Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said that not since the autumn and winter of 1966-67 has Texas had a drier October-February. He says the five months ending Feb. 28 saw a statewide average of only 4.7 inches of rainfall.