After weeks of little to no rainfall we’ve continued to see an intensification of drought conditions across Central and East Texas. Even though many lakes were filled this spring the recent dry weather has resulted in extreme grass fire danger. The Texas Forest Service and fire departments have responded to numerous fires over the past week – including some large ones. Air resources have responded to at least one fire out in the Concho Valley. We do not anticipate much in the way of rain through next Wednesday. Degradation of soil moisture will continue and no improvement in fire conditions will occur.

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The good news is we are expecting a pattern change beginning next Wednesday into Thursday. A cold front should push south into the state bringing cooler temperatures and increased precipitation chances. The Climate Prediction Center indicates a likelihood of above-average precipitation chances after September 8-9 and continuing into mid-September. Based on the strong El Nino in place we do expect that we will receive above-average precipitation in the October-January timeframe. Drought conditions should improve and probably be eliminated once again later this fall.

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Southern Plains summary from the National Drought Mitigation Center

Lots of relatively small-scale adjustments were made to the drought depiction in Texas and Oklahoma this week, primarily deterioration. An area of extreme drought (D3) was added to east-central Texas. Along the border with southeastern Oklahoma, severe drought (D2) was expanded across southern McCurtain, Choctaw, eastern Bryan and southern Pushmataha Counties. Abnormal dryness was expanded northward into southern Le Flore and southern Latimer Counties. An area of D0 was added to part of far southwestern Oklahoma, based largely on soil moisture data. Plant Available Water (PAW) in this area at 4-, 16-, and 32-inch soil depths is approximately 0.10-inch, 0.50-inch, and 0.95-inch, respectively.