October 2010 - Present Drought
 

The following table and graphs give a summary of the ongoing drought, which began in October of 2010. All data are from the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

 
The first chart shows that October 2010 through April 2014 smashed the record for the driest 43 month (3.5+ year) period on record, beating out the period ending on April 30, 1955 by an astounding 8.64 inches.
 
Chart displaying the driest 43 month periods for Lubbock Texas since records began in 1911.
 

A similar version of the above chart is shown below, except that the below chart displays the driest 45 month stretch on record for Lubbock valid through June 2014. Even with relatively wet conditions from Memorial Day weekend through the middle of June, when Lubbock recorded 7.82 inches of rainfall, the past 45 months remain one of the driest such stretches on record.

 
 
The following graph displays observed precipitation (via the green line/area) versus the normal amount (shown by the reddish brown line) since November of 2010. After receiving 2.57 inches of rainfall on October 21-22, 2010 (not shown), the spread between observed and normal precipitation began increasing, and continued to do so until the relatively moist stretch from late May through mid June. This stretch of relatively wet weather has helped ease short term drought conditions. However, as the below graphs illustrates, the long term precipitation deficits remain formidable.
 
Accumulated precipitation from November 1, 2010 through June 16, 2014. Also plotted is the average precipitation through this period (in red).
 
The following image shows the level of drought experienced in Lubbock as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor since the beginning of the millennium. The main point here is that severe to exceptional drought has been in place much of the time since 2011, indicated by the oranges and reds. Some recent drought relief has occurred, but it will take continued regular rains to fully alleviate the drought of the last few years.
 
Chart displaying the level of the drought experienced in Lubbock, as indicated by the U.S. Drought Monitor, since 2000.
 
The final plot depicts precipitation from October 1 through April 30 covering a 43 month period, beginning with 1947-1951 and going through 2010-2014. The blue line shows the precipitation from 2010-2014. The green lines are the wettest periods while the brown ones indicate the driest (outside of 2010-2014). The thick gray line represents normal precipitation, and the thinner gray lines are all other periods included in the dataset.
 
The final plot depicts precipitation from October 1 through April 31 covering a 43 month period, beginning with 1947-1951 and going through 2010-2014. The blue line shows the precipitation from 2010-2014. The green lines are the wettest periods while the brown ones indicate the driest (outside of 2010-2014). The thick gray line represents normal precipitation, and the thinner gray lines are all other periods included in the dataset.
 
In addition to the above charts and graphs, the latest drought statement issued by the NWS in Lubbock can be VIEWED HERE. The current (and past) drought monitor can also be FOUND HERE.

 

 

 


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