With Recent Showers, Is the Devastating Drought Nearing an End?

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN- Nearly any Texan will tell you that a little rain definitely doesn't hurt. For the past few weeks, the Basin has seen not just sprinkles but full force showers.

New rainfall totals have just been released, revealing positive results. Throughout the Basin, we've increased our average rainfall since last year. For example, in 2011 Fort Stockton had close to three inches of rain all year, but in 2012, they've already had almost nine inches of rain.

So, what does this mean when it comes to the devastating drought the state has been facing for months?

NewsWest 9 Chief Meteorologist Tom Tefertiller says, "We're already getting a good start on trying to make up for this drought but we still have a long way to go."

Odessa Cattle Rancher Bill Wight suffered through last year's horrible conditions. He tells us, "Nothing ever greened up last year but mesquites. Nothing ever grew. I got rid of a lot of cows and then sold a lot more cows last winter."

In fact, he was forced to sell two-thirds of his cattle. Wight says the recent rain has helped his business get back to where it needs to be but he's still cautiously optimistic.

"It would be nice to get some rain this summer because then I'd be in better shape going into the winter but right now it's a whole lot better," he adds.

Chief Meteorologist Tom Tefertiller says we need nearly a foot more rain to get completely back on track. For now, we are still very much in a drought.

"It's going to take an incredible amount of rain to get our lakes back to where they should be and to get soil moisture back to where we need it to be," Tefertiller said.