AUSTIN (AP) — The state climatologist says Texas continues to experience a serious shortage of rainfall and is on track to experience the second-worst drought on record.

John Nielsen-Gammon told the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees on Tuesday that most of the state was still in extreme drought. The long-range forecast also tilts toward drier than normal conditions through spring.

Gammon said the drought that began in 2011 is so far the third most serious in state history and, if it continues through summer, will rank second.

Lawmakers also heard testimony that the state needs to spend $53 billion over the next 50 years to meet the state’s long-term water needs.

Governor Rick Perry and top lawmakers have recommended taking $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to finance water projects.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Also Check Out:

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE