BRYAN, Tex (KBTX) - The newest drought monitor is out for the region, and while it's looked worse in the past few years, it still isn't optimal for the Brazos Valley, and even less so for the ArkLaTex.
North Texas, most of East Texas, and a good portion of Arkansas are labeled as in "Severe Drought" and even "Extreme Drought" at worst. We've had a couple good soaking rains since Harvey ourselves, but we could definitely use a few more.
The main takeaway from this map is that since Harvey, much of our area and deep East Texas has not had much rain. This is important for folks in agriculture to know, but also gives us a peek at how fire danger may quickly become elevated with frontal passages and dry and breezy days. In a La Niña regime, this could get worse before it gets better. However, there's some hope in the short term that we'll see some relief before the year ends.
This weekend: A trough of low pressure that's been feeding us these high clouds over the past several days will finally get swallowed up by the jetstream and move over us quickly Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. This will give us a quick, but solid chance for rain and a couple thunderstorms, especially in the evening hours Saturday. Rainfall totals could vary wildly, from less to a quarter inch to up to an inch. Won't rule out spots of 1+ inches at this point with locally heavier storms, as indicated by one of the American models below.
Don't get too caught up on the numbers or the location of the numbers (like the 1.9 inch bullseye over B/CS), but heavier storms will definitely be capable of dropping amounts near that total.
The above graphic from the Weather Prediction Center looks a bit more reasonable for our area, with widespread totals of one quarter inch to an inch, with locally higher amounts, and higher rainfall totals to our east.
We'll continue to fine tune possible rainfall totals through the end of the week.
Beyond Sunday: We should get a decent amount of sun to finish the weekend and finish in the quite pleasant upper 60s. A few more rounds of showers are possible, but not quite as likely on Monday and Tuesday (about 10-20% for now).
Long range models continue to bring precip our way as we get closer to the holidays. While this is still too far out to forecast with any respectable degree of accuracy, the consistency is notable and worth watching as we get closer. Give it the weekend, and we'll have a better chance for Christmas weekend rain chances. All being said, I'd expect it to be chilly and perhaps a bit on the damp side.
The graphic above from the Climate Prediction Center illustrates that point, basically showing a slightly increased chance for wet weather closer to Christmas. Again, "wet" can mean any number of things, so check back next week and we'll have better data.
Bottom line: Short term drought relief could be on the way for some this weekend, and rain chances, at the moment, don't look to completely disappear after Saturday.