The Texas Panhandle is contending with its driest three-year period ever recorded and the drought is showing signs of strengthening.
State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon told the Amarillo Globe-News (http://bit.ly/1lgac4r ) the prior record was from 1954 to 1956. The next driest in the Panhandle was during the Dust Bowl years of 1933 to 1935.
But over a more extended period, the current drought has not matched the one in the 1950s.
The Amarillo office of the National Weather Service has recorded about 34.5 inches of precipitation for the past three years, compared to a normal accumulation of 61 inches.
The Climate Prediction Center's latest forecast says the region's drought will linger at least through April. A map released recently by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows signs that it's spreading and deepening.