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Drought affects West Texas ranchers and farmers

Around 40% of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico are considered to in an exceptional drought.
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 6:46 PM CST
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HOWARD COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) - Though many of us are enjoying these nice temperatures, the exceptionally dry and hot weather isn’t great for everyone.

Around 40% of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico are considered to be in an exceptional drought.

The worst kind of drought is the “exceptional drought” which means there could be possible water shortages, increased fire risk, and widespread crop and pasture losses.

CBS7′s Chief Meteorologist, Tom Tefertiller says the drought is here to stay, “Well right now we’re in what’s called a La Niña weather pattern, and the flow that we get off of the Pacific usually dictates our weather. Right now, it is a warm and dry weather pattern because of that La Niña effect and it’s expanding the drought across West Texas.”

Tom Tefertiller also explains that “Rainfall amounts for this year, so far, are about 7 inches below where they should be and the prospects of any drought-busting rains are not in the forecast anytime soon as we enter usually a dry period here in West Texas.”

Thanks to the lack of rain, Brayden Iden, a local farmer and rancher in Howard County says that he and other landowners are worried about their land and cattle.

“I’d say as far as cotton crop goes, I mean we had a really good crop going until the middle of July. It just really quit raining, the cotton burnt up, and it was a disaster and now our grass is dry and the cows don’t have much to eat,” said Brayden.

Many counties in the area are currently under a burn ban due to the dry and warm conditions. Ector county has extended theirs for another 90 days through February of next year.

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