July was a welcome respite from the extremely active April, May, and June experienced in Texas. Unlike those three months, we did not have any tornado outbreaks, historic flash flooding, or tropical cyclones impact our state. It is not a surprise that temperatures have warmed up in the absence of widespread rain and cloud cover. Typically, the hottest temperatures are experienced in early August before average temperatures begin to slowly fall. Even though an El Nino is in place we still have typical seasons – including the dreaded summer. I think you’ll find that even though it’s been warm, this summer has nothing on the ones from 2011 or 2012. The dry weather wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Flooded locations have been able to dry out and work on recovery. On the other side of the spectrum the Texas Panhandle and the Concho Valley received above average precipitation. Amarillo and San Angelo experienced flash flooding at points in July along with rises in local tributaries. Far West Texas, including El Paso, had several days of thunderstorms with the monsoon in full force during the early and middle parts of the month.
July and August typically are the hottest two months in Texas. It should not come as a surprise that it was hot this month. Compared to the summers of 2011 and 2012, this year doesn’t even compare in terms of heat or drought. Most of Texas will end the month with slightly below or at average temperatures for July. East and Southeast Texas were slightly above average in the temperature department likely due to higher dew point/humidity values. No doubt July was hot but in terms of Texas heat we’ve been lucky this summer.
Let’s take a look into our August weather prospects. Weather model guidance indicates that our upper air pattern will remain fairly stagnant for the first ten days of August. The primary upper air flow and Jetstream will remain well to our north in the Dakotas and Northeast United States. A heat ridge or area of high pressure will keep our weather hot, humid, and with no widespread chances for rain. Temperatures will remain around the levels they’ve been at for the past two weeks into the first week of August. Depending on which weather model you use it looks like the heat ridge may begin to weaken towards the middle of August. Anything farther out than ten days is weather model voodoo land and typically will change from run to run. An experimental ultra long-range weather model keeps the heat ridge in place through most of August. That same experimental model does show some relief by the last week of August with a pattern change. I wouldn’t bet a penny on it but we can all hope.
Remember that Mother Nature has a mind of her own. We can try all we want to accurately forecast, but in the end always expect the unexpected.