After breaking the summer drought, another may be starting for the Brazos valley

As of Tuesday, it has been 20 days since measurable rain fell in Bryan-College Station
The Climate Prediction Center expected exceptionally dry conditions to persist through the...
The Climate Prediction Center expected exceptionally dry conditions to persist through the start of October(KBTX)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “Drought development likely.” That is the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for a period that began September 15th and runs through the end of the year. Just as quick as the Brazos Valley clawed out of the extreme/exceptional drought from the hottest summer of record, a new drought period may be getting underway to kick off the fall season.

DRYING OUT

Between April and July, Bryan-College Station only managed to collect 5.42″ of rain at Easterwood Airport. Compared to the 30-year average, that total fell short by just over 8″. July only produced 0.01″ through a month that each afternoon found thermometers above the triple-digit mark. Then the rain returned August 8th. 7.08″ of rain fell over a 30-day period.

Measurable rain has not been collected at Easterwood Airport since September 7
Measurable rain has not been collected at Easterwood Airport since September 7(KBTX)

Since August 7th, measurable rain disappeared from the Brazos Valley’s skies once again. September will end over half an inch shy of the expected rainfall for the month. Green yards, fields, and vegetation have once again taken a hit, with much of the Brazos Valley’s vegetation turning yellow and dormant -- yet again -- ahead of the season’s first frost and freeze.

BURN BAN

Monday, September 26th, noon hour returned Walker County to burn ban restrictions. This is the only county prohibiting outdoor burning, as of Tuesday night.

Fire danger concerns have returned to the Brazos Valley. Lower humidity has brought a fall feel to the air, but the lack of moisture to get it allows relative humidity values to fall to/below 20% by the afternoon hours. Coupled with the dry and dormant vegetation, fast-starting and spreading fires have once again become a potential issue. The Texas A&M Forest Service predicts “high” to “very high” fire danger for parts of the Brazos Valley through the end of September.

A DRY, DRY OUTLOOK

Both the Climate Prediction Center’s 6 to 10-day and 8 to 14-day outlooks call for below-average rainfall over much of Texas and the Brazos Valley. An inkling of a passing, weak front to provide a chance of rain dangles just outside of the 10-day extended outlook.

BLEAK HOPE IN OCTOBER

October is expected to bring the most rain in one month’s time than any other of the year. On average, October should yield just shy of 5″ of rain. The outlook for the next 31 days is for a 30% to 40% chance rainfall falls short of that expected wet weather. Ongoing La Niña conditions typically bring the Brazos Valley a warmer and drier-than-average fall and winter. As the new season begins, that very much seems to be the trend and could continue to re-establish drought conditions -- albeit slower than this past summer -- through the start of 2023 and ahead of the upcoming spring.