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Texas drought could extend for months

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Apr 26, 2011
The worst drought to hit Texas in 45 years, which has sparked wildfires consuming 1.5 million acres, could continue to summer and beyond, meteorologists say.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say weather models predict the severe drought that has parched the southern United States will continue, ClimateWire reported Tuesday.

"Predictions over weeks to one to three months suggest the drought will continue, and even intensify, in some areas as we struggle to get any rainfall," David Brown, director of climate services for NOAA's Southern Region, said.

"This really is a historical climate event affecting our region," he said, characterizing the conditions as "extreme and exceptional."

More than half the state is experiencing either "extreme" drought, expected to occur every 20 to 50 years, or an "exceptional" drought seen every 50 to 100 years, reported.

Meteorologists say the drought conditions have been driven by a strong La Nina weather pattern that emerged last summer, with colder than normal conditions in the equatorial eastern central Pacific Ocean that has wide-ranging effects, including dry winter conditions in the southeastern United States.

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