Here is the latest drought monitor for Texas and overall we have noted some deterioration thanks to relatively low precipitation amounts over the past week. There are indications a storm system may bring measurable precipitation to parts of Texas next week but that’s still far from written in stone.

Central and Southern Plains
Moderate to locally heavy precipitation prompted patchy improvement across southern and eastern Texas, but it was a cold and dry week elsewhere, keeping dryness and drought predominantly unchanged. Some deterioration was noted in a few spots in northern Texas, including some D4 expansion into Hardeman and Foard Counties just southeast of the Panhandle. Precipitation since October 2014 has totaled less than 75 percent of normal across much of the Panhandle and in adjacent areas to the east, and 6-month totals below half of normal were noted in a few small areas in southwestern Oklahoma and the central Texas Panhandle.

Looking Ahead
The upcoming 5-day period (January 14 – 18, 2015) looks generally mild and dry across the contiguous 48 states. According to the Weather Prediction Center, heavy precipitation (2 to 7 inches) should be limited to northwest California and the Pacific Northwest along and west of the Cascades, with the largest amounts expected along parts of the immediate coastline and windward mountain slopes. Moderate to locally heavy precipitation (1.5 to 3.0 inches) is expected in parts of central and northern Idaho. Elsewhere, amounts of 0.5 to 1.5 inches are forecast across the remainders of northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and Idaho, plus adjacent portions of western Montana and northwestern Wyoming. Farther south and east, totals above 0.5 inch should be limited to New England, the Outer Banks, and the immediate central Gulf Coast. The rest of the East Coast, southern sections of the central Gulf Coast states, and the upper Great Lakes regions are expected to receive light precipitation, with little or none anticipated elsewhere. Temperatures should average at least somewhat above normal from the Mississippi Valley westward, with daily highs averaging 9oF to 18oF above normal from south-central sections of the Plains and Front Range northward to the Canadian border.

For the ensuing 5 days (January 19 – 23, 2015), warmer than normal weather is favored across almost all of the 49 continental states, except northwestern Alaska and parts of the central and northern High Plains and adjacent Rockies. Subnormal precipitation is anticipated throughout the West Coast states, western Arizona, and most of Nevada while surplus precipitation is expected from the eastern edge of the Rockies eastward through the Great Lakes region, the middle Ohio Valley, and the central Gulf Coast region. Wet weather is also favored throughout Alaska.