It's no surprise to farmers or anyone trying to save their lawns that this Spring has been ridiculously hot and exceptionally dry. This has been a record-setting year from the get-go and we may not be quite through breaking those records just yet.
It all started in January. We ended 2010 with a 10" rainfall deficit and began the year optimistic that we would start out 2011 on a better foot. For nine days, we did. On January 9, we received 1.69" of rain, the last time we saw over an inch at Easterwood. After a couple of more nice showers on the 15th and 16th things were still looking good. But time dragged on and the rain just wouldn't fall.
Skip ahead to March and April. March saw a few decent rainfalls, but we still ended the month over 2 inches below normal. Things remained dry and quickly started heating up as we charged into April.
So far, it's not looking good for those May flowers. The April showers have been completely absent from Bryan-College Station the whole month. We're now running nearly a 7 inch rainfall deficit for the year, and combined with the ten inches below normal we ended with in 2010, it's spelled lots of trouble for farmers. Now in an exceptional drought, many farmers have lost crops or are having to sell cattle they cannot afford to feed.
So just how bad is it out there? Let's take a look at some interesting numbers:
At Easterwood Airport:
The last time we saw rainfall totals over an inch: January 9
We've seen NO measurable rainfall for the month of April
This is the driest we've been at this point in the year since 1984
Average temperature in March: 4.4 degrees above normal
Average temperature in April: 6.9 degrees above normal
This is the warmest April on record, breaking the old record set in 1925
As of April 24, we've hit 90 degrees or above 10 times this month
We've also set 5 record high temps in April
Most of the Brazos Valley remains under an Exceptional Drought, the highest classification on the drought monitor scale
There is hope for rain Monday and Tuesday, but with only a 30% chance of showers, we'll need more than just a few showers to get us out of this hole!