Abnormally dry conditions have returned to parts of Texas. After record-breaking rains in May and June the month of July has been abnormally dry across the eastern half of Texas. Select locations in central Texas have not recorded a drop of rain throughout the month of July. On the other side of the spectrum portions of West Texas, the Texas Panhandle, south into the Concho Valley experienced episodes of heavy rain. The good news is over 99% of Texas remains out of an official drought designation. Watersheds remain in good shape across most of Texas, with notable exceptions in the Hill Country, Concho Valley, and locations that missed out on rains this year. There was no question we needed a break from the flooding rains to allow rivers and tributaries to stabilize. However medium to long range weather model guidance does not indicate any widespread precipitation chances over the next 10 days. As we head into the first week of August the heat down will build back into the state along with the southern plains of the United States. Temperatures will once again increase with the possibility of triple digit heat index values. Even with parts of the state experiencing no rain in July we remain in relatively good shape.
The record-breaking rains back in May and June it allowed us to break a five-year drought and help fill watersheds. With an El Niño continuing into the winter months we should see above average precipitation this winter along with the possibility of below average temperatures. It’s worth noting below average temperatures this winter does not mean we’re going to be cold or bitterly cold all the time. There will be periods of warm and dry weather – just like we’ve seen this summer.
Experimental long range weather model guidance indicates we may have a shot at a pattern change in the second half of August towards early September. Should the pattern change verify we may see the possibility of increased precipitation chances – but all of that is out in voodoo land right now. Time will tell but the first week of August looks dry, hot, and humid. Winter grasses have dried out and the danger for grass fires is on the rise.