Grasses that are normally green and healthy looking at this time of the year are now starting to turn dull and brown thanks to a very dry start of spring. The very wet winter we had put us back on track after last year’s exceptional drought conditions, but the effects of the winter have now worn off.
Southeast Texas is already seeing an increased risk of wildfires with a rainfall deficit of 4 inches in Bryan-College Station since March 1st. So far we haven’t picked up any measurable rain at Easterwood in the month of May, and we haven’t seen a good, soaking rain there since April 18.
Between the record setting temperatures in early May and the overall lack of rainfall, we may be heading into summer under another drought.
May 11, 2010
May 4, 2010 August 25, 2009
Of course it's very unlikely that the crippling drought conditions we saw last summer will repeat themselves a second year in a row, but our rain chances diminish in the summer months as fewer systems make their way this far South. The exception would be hurricanes, which could potentially bring A LOT of rain, but most people would rather not rely on potentially very destructive storms to alleviate a drought.
Ideally, we see a good amount of rain in the Spring, when we see more active weather. It has been a slow Spring however, and while that has meant a slow severe weather season, it has also translated into a very dry one.
There is some hope for rain this week. With breezy Southerly winds, plenty of moisture is being pumped into the area, and a cold front and upper level disturbance will bring us a chance for showers this weekend and rainfall totals of one inch in some locations are not out of the question.
Not everyone will see the rain this weekend though, and it will still take more than one good soaking to get our rainfall totals back up to normal before we head into summer.
For more on the wildfire concerns in Southeast Texas, go to www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/93615874.html
To keep track of Drought conditions across the country, visit www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html