Brazos Valley’s summer outlook may be hotter-than-normal but with a promising rain chance
Expected rainfall should mean a repeat of historic heat is NOT expected
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - El Niño is expected to make a return during or by the end of the summer season. Just a few months after the long-lasting La Niña faded away to average Equatorial Pacific temperatures, NASA has identified early signs of the warmer waters there from space. With that in mind, the Climate Prediction Center has released a three-month outlook, calling for another hotter-than-average summer in Texas. Unlike Summer 2022, the faucet should not completely shut off for the Brazos Valley.
NOTE: For the purposes of this forecast, “Summer” is defined as the three-month period between June 1st and August 31st. This time period is better known as “Meteorological Summer.”
Get the air conditioner tuned up and prepare for a hot(er) summer ahead. The official forecast from NOAA calls for a 50% to 60% chance for above-average temperatures in the Brazos Valley between June and August.
What does an above-average summer look like for the Brazos Valley? According to the past 30 years of local weather:
|Average Low (1st Day / Last Day)||71 / 74||74 / 75||75 / 73|
|Average High||90 / 94||94 / 97||97 / 95|
Typically, during an El Niño pattern, the Brazos Valley’s temperatures are expected to run average or below average. However, this year, sea-surface temperatures are already well-above-average ahead of the summer season. This warmer, more humid air is expected to remain stagnant as it moves in from the Gulf of Mexico. Air that holds more moisture typically does not cool off steadily during the overnight hours. While afternoons may run anywhere from a few to several degrees above average, overnight lows are likely where the biggest anomalies will be found. This causes more concern for human health, specifically for those without adequate cooling systems in their homes and residence.
Summer 2022 -- which occurred during a La Niña pattern -- ended up as the second hottest summer of record for Bryan - College Station, just a shade behind summer 2011 in the number one spot.
El Niño patterns typically favor above-average or average rainfall for the Southern US and Texas. The Climate Prediction Center has the Brazos Valley under the probability of “equal chances” for rainfall through the summer season.
What does an average summer of rain looks like for the Brazos Valley? According to the past 30 years of weather:
- JUNE: 4.01″
- JULY: 1.98:”
- AUGUST: 3.10″
- 3-MONTH EXPECTED TOTAL: 9.09″
Thanks to an overly saturated April and May, the area is going into summer drought-free and with an annual surplus of rainfall to date.
SUMMERS ARE GETTING HOTTER. RAIN IS FALLING HEAVIER AND UNEVENLY
Since 1970, 96% of 246 U.S. locations sampled had an increase in their summer average temperatures and 81% (200) had 7 or more summer days above average.
Bryan-College Station has seen an average summer temperature increase of nearly three and a half degrees over the last 50 years. More staggering, since 1970, on average, the Brazos Valley now experiences nearly 40 more above-average days than just 50 years ago. In 1970, about 20 days between June and August were considered above average. As of 2022, that number has increased to 60 expected above-average days or roughly 65% of the season.
More intense rainfall rates are being noted as the water cycle is becoming supercharged by man-made climate change. 136 of 150 US locations analyzed have experienced this increase since 1970. While summer rainfall is always welcome, heavy downpours bring more rain, faster—causing flash flooding that can displace families, drown crops, damage infrastructure, and expose people to hazardous debris, contaminants, and water-borne disease. During summer months, this concern is highest particularly when a tropical system is involved.
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