85% Of Texas "Abnormally Dry Or Worse"

Texas – Drought conditions in Texas are back, and they weren't gone long.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map for this week shows that about 85 percent of the state is abnormally dry or worse. Pastures are brown and fields planted with grains to feed cattle aren't coming up. About 4 percent is in extreme drought, the second-driest designation on the map.

Dry conditions are expected to worsen in the next six weeks and persist through at least February, weather officials said. The wildfire threat could be high in the spring. The culprit is La Nina, a weather pattern that typically means less than normal rainfall and above normal temperatures.

In February, officials declared the end of a devastating drought that began in September 2007; agriculture losses reach an estimated $3.6 billion.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.