News from around the state of Texas

Larger Areas of Texas Fall into Severe Drought

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    SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 28: A small pool of water is surrounded by dried and cracked earth that was the bottom of the Almaden Reservoir on January 28, 2014 in San Jose, California. Now in its third straight year of drought conditions, California is experiencing its driest year on record, dating back 119 years, and reservoirs throughout the state have low water levels. Santa Clara County reservoirs are at 3 percent of capacity or lower. California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency to speed up assistance to local governments, streamline water transfers and potentially ease environmental protection requirements for dam releases. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Large areas of Texas have fallen into severe drought as a typically wet season remains relatively dry.

    The Texas Water Development Board says Tuesday that extreme-to-exceptional conditions have spread to a quarter of the state based on the information released by the National Drought Mitigation Center. That is almost double the area that faced those conditions last week.

    Nearly the entire Texas Panhandle and a swathe of Central Texas are in extreme drought. Pockets of the Panhandle and a chunk of north-central Texas register as "exceptional," the worst level of drought recorded by the center.

    Other areas are either abnormally dry or in a lower-level of drought.

    Spring is normally a wet season in chunks of Texas, but much of the state has so far seen little rainfall.