July has been the warmest month ever recorded across the United States. Because it has been so hot, fires and extreme drought conditions have plagued several parts of the country. In Texas, we haven’t experienced such intense conditions since last summer. In recent days, the Brazos Valley hasn’t seen very much significant rainfall and temperatures have started to reach the century mark. Could this make the current drought conditions as bad as the rest of the country?
High pressure has been sitting in the middle of the country for the majority of the summer and not going anywhere. When an area is under a high pressure system for a long period of time, especially over the summer, it gets sunny and hot. Rain chances also drop to near zero and if the system is strong enough, it won’t allow for any possible rain-producing systems to force their way into the area. This is the same kind of weather pattern that produced the record-breaking temperatures and drought last summer.
The question remains, will Texas get as bad of a drought as we had before? At this moment in time, the high pressure system is still centered to the north of the Brazos Valley, causing Oklahoma and North Texas to have the majority of the hotter temperatures. If it shifts southward and stays for weeks on end, then our drought levels could be on the increase. Also, if we continue to not see any rain for months on end, it can help edge on the drought even more. Luckily for us, the high seems to stay centered to our north and we keep seeing slight chances of rain. The likelihood of last summer’s drought returning is very slim.