If you've flipped on the news today, two things are filling the headlines -- and both have to deal with opposite ends of the weather spectrum. One of the largest (if not, in fact, the largest) severe weather outbreaks, prompting over 1,000 wind, hail and tornado reports combined, hit the Southern U.S. Thursday through Saturday.
Then you come to Texas. While we are glad that tornadoes are not on the list of worries, the lack of rain and uncontrolled wildfires is.
The Brazos Valley continues to be classified as being in an "Exceptional Drought" a.k.a. the worst drought situation possible. While we stood alone in that classification last week, parts of far West Texas have now joined in as well. 100% of the State of Texas is in some sort of drought, with over almost 90% considered at least "severe."
Folks are starting to do just about anything they know how to. Over in Burleson County, they are praying for rain! Others are looking towards rain dances or simply washing their car in hopes of the sky opening up. At this point though, things are looking to stay dry (at least for the next seven days)
The Jetstream is running well to the north of Texas and in what we call a "zonal flow," basically moving directly from the west to the east. While that is cutting off cooler temperatures to the north, it is also the main storm track, so with it staying away from us, unfortunately, we aren't tracking any systems to bring that much needed rain to the Brazos Valley anytime soon.
What we are forecasting, though, is Spring winds and Summertime temperatures -- both of which only hurt us when it comes to the drought and wildfire danger. Strong south winds on a day to day basis will be gusty, upwards of 25mph. The windiest days expected this week are Tuesday and Friday with gusts up around 35mph to possibly even 40mph! Oh and by the way, with those strong, gusty winds Tuesday, highs will be topping off in the low 90s area wide. Not exactly what you want to hear in April when "normal" daytime highs are right around 79° to 80°.
So for now, keep your fingers crossed that the strange, wet stuff will fall again soon. While we are keeping our eyes peeled in the weather center, be sure to do your part by making sure fires don't get started in the area. The few fires we have had over the past 10 days have come from discarded cigarette butts, so more than ever use caution in everything that you are doing...especially outdoors.