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Texas slips back into severe drought as November ends with no rain

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TWC News: Texas slips back into severe drought as November ends with no rain
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It's official—the month of November will be among the driest ever recorded in Austin.

Not one drop of rain fell at Camp Mabry for the month. The last time that happened was more than 120 years ago.

After a relatively wet summer, this unfortunate bit of history is evidence that Central Texas is slipping back into drought and the outlook for rain in grim.

"We're coming out of what was hopefully going to be a wetter pattern than it actually was," YNN meteorologist Adam Kruger said.

The recent weather has meteorologists and climate scientists scratching their heads.

The cooler sea surface temperatures called La Nina have faded, but what should be a pattern of normal rainfall has not materialized.

"Rainfall is so random year to year that it takes a long time before you can detect any clear trends in the pattern. And the models still can't do a good job simulating rainfall," John Neilson-Gammon, a state climatologist, said.

Just a few months ago, some parts of the state were getting plentiful rainfall. Some areas of the state saw rain totals more than double what is normal.

But in the last two months, Texas has dried out again.

Ninety-four percent of Texas is now abnormally dry and more than half in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And La Nina is expected to return, meaning another long dry spell is likely.

"As far as the weather patterns and how those are going to change, it's not clear how it's going to work out for Texas," Neilson-Gammon said.

If forecasts prove accurate, Texas might go another six to nine months without significant rain which means the current drought is still just as bad as the drought of record in the 1950s, one which lasted seven years.

"We're likely going to see the drought at least persist or perhaps get a little bit worse between now and February," Kruger said.

Right now, about 25 percent of Texas is back in extreme drought.

Texas lost more than $7.5 billion in agriculture production in the 2011 drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says about half of the state's winter wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition.

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