Counties with the worst droughts in Texas

Written by:
July 19, 2024
Canva

Counties with the worst droughts in Texas

About one-fifth of the continental United States is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Storms during this past winter brought heavy (in some areas, record-setting) rainfall and flooding to California, offering the state an expected two-year reprieve from widespread droughts that covered nearly 100% of the state from 2020 to 2022. But in other parts of the country, especially dry conditions continue. West Virginia is currently the state with the most widespread drought, covering 90.5% of the state's area.

In periods of drought, levels of major reservoirs and rivers can fall dramatically. Groundwater systems are also affected as shrinking water supplies impact agriculture and hydropower generation while increasing wildfire risk.

Periods of drought have intensified and become more frequent in recent years due to climate change. Scientists predict that even in low-emissions scenarios, much of the U.S. will be drier by the end of the century.

Stacker cited data from the U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Texas with the worst droughts as of July 16, 2024. Counties are listed in order of percent of the area in drought conditions. "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought but is included as a separate data point. Additional data for the state overall is also included. Any counties not experiencing drought are not included in the list. Counties are listed in order of drought severity.

1 / 26
Emma Rubin // Stacker

Texas statistics

- Abnormally dry: 23.5%
- Area in drought: 25.4% (#17 nationally)
--- Moderate drought: 11.2%
--- Severe drought: 8.1%
--- Extreme drought: 6.1%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
2 / 26
Canva

Pecos County

- Abnormally dry: 6.7%
- Area in drought: 93.3%
--- Moderate drought: 90.4%
--- Severe drought: 3.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
3 / 26
SG Arts // Shutterstock

Midland County

- Abnormally dry: 5.0%
- Area in drought: 95.0%
--- Moderate drought: 95.0%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
4 / 26
Canva

Andrews County

- Abnormally dry: 2.8%
- Area in drought: 97.2%
--- Moderate drought: 97.2%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
5 / 26
Canva

Real County

- Abnormally dry: 2.4%
- Area in drought: 97.6%
--- Moderate drought: 9.2%
--- Severe drought: 88.4%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
6 / 26
Canva

Zavala County

- Abnormally dry: 1.7%
- Area in drought: 98.3%
--- Moderate drought: 74.5%
--- Severe drought: 23.8%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
7 / 26
Canva

Val Verde County

- Abnormally dry: 0.4%
- Area in drought: 99.6%
--- Moderate drought: 28.5%
--- Severe drought: 32.4%
--- Extreme drought: 38.7%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
8 / 26
Canva

Bexar County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 93.6%
--- Severe drought: 6.4%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
9 / 26
Canva

Winkler County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 87.5%
--- Severe drought: 12.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
10 / 26
Canva

Ector County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 86.3%
--- Severe drought: 13.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
11 / 26
SevenMaps // Shutterstock

Loving County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 83.4%
--- Severe drought: 16.6%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
12 / 26
Canva

Crane County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 50.1%
--- Severe drought: 49.9%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
13 / 26
Gestalt Imagery // Shutterstock

Terrell County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 37.5%
--- Severe drought: 62.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
14 / 26
Canva

Ward County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 7.3%
--- Severe drought: 92.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
15 / 26
Canva

Reeves County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.5%
--- Severe drought: 99.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
16 / 26
Canva

Uvalde County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 100.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
17 / 26
Canva

Medina County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 41.1%
--- Severe drought: 55.6%
--- Extreme drought: 3.3%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
18 / 26
Canva

Brewster County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 37.0%
--- Severe drought: 28.1%
--- Extreme drought: 34.9%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
19 / 26
Canva

Kendall County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 6.8%
--- Severe drought: 58.0%
--- Extreme drought: 35.2%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
20 / 26
Richard J Roberts // Shutterstock

Hudspeth County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 60.4%
--- Extreme drought: 39.6%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
21 / 26
Canva

Bandera County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 56.2%
--- Extreme drought: 43.8%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
22 / 26
Canva

Jeff Davis County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 3.1%
--- Severe drought: 39.1%
--- Extreme drought: 57.7%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
23 / 26
Canva

Culberson County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 37.7%
--- Extreme drought: 62.3%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
24 / 26
Canva

El Paso County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 33.5%
--- Extreme drought: 66.5%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
25 / 26
Canva

Kinney County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 13.1%
--- Extreme drought: 86.9%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%
26 / 26
Canva

Presidio County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 0.0%
--- Extreme drought: 100.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

This story features data reporting and writing by Emma Rubin and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 31 states.

Trending Now