After record rains and devastating floods all of Texas was essentially out of drought conditions. Just three months later that number has dropped to 74 percent after little rain across Central Texas, North Texas, and East Texas. The official drought designation from the National Drought Mitigation Center begins at D1 or moderate drought.
Their weekly update has now introduced drought designation back into Northwest Texas, parts of the South Plains, and the Hill Country. [clickToTweet tweet=”Extreme drought conditions have returned to the Brazos Valley into East Texas #txwx #txfire” quote=”A flash drought has resulted in extreme drought conditions across parts of the Brazos Valley into East Texas”]. Wildfire danger has dramatically increased over the past three weeks and resources have been fighting increasingly large grass fire. A 1400+ acre wildfire about 25 miles south of Wichita Falls destroyed two homes this week after strong afternoon winds helped fan the flames. Record rains in May caused a considerable amount of plant growth. Very dry and hot weather over the past two months has caused the new plant growth to dry out. Fire danger is high this week.
Folks along the coast, Southeast Texas, far West Texas, and the Panhandle have received decent measurable rain over the past two months. Meanwhile the Hill Country, Big Country, Northwest Texas, Central Texas, and North Texas have seen rains well below average. Some of that is typical for summertime while part of it is thanks to the heat ridge that has sat over Texas since July. Actually you can see the high pressure’s influence quite well on the rain graphic delineated by the low rain amounts.
A cold front will push into northern parts of the state this weekend bringing scattered thunderstorm chances. Rain amounts should remain relatively light and under an inch through the weekend across Northwest and North Texas. Unfortunately the cold front and rain will stay will mostly miss East Texas and the Brazos Valley this weekend. I don’t anticipate any major pattern shifts through the end of September – thus widespread, beneficial rain isn’t in the forecast. There are a few signs that will change as we get into Mid-October.