NOAA released its forecast for the rest of 2023. There’s a glimmer of hope for the Brazos Valley
There are signals we may be able to etch away at the drought summer left behind
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their long-range outlooks for both October and the final three months of the year Thursday. To probably nobody’s surprise at this point, temperatures will likely close out the year generally above average. Rainfall has not been something that has graced the Brazos Valley since April. That could change as El Niño begins to influence the weather pattern heading into winter.
QUICK NOTE ABOUT SEPTEMBER
September came in hot -- literally -- and has not let up on the excessive heat that baked the Brazos Valley throughout the summer. Thursday’s high of 100° at Easterwood Airport made history, putting 2023 over the edge to now hold the record for the most triple-digit days in a calendar year. By September 21st, the month was already running 7.4° above the 30-year average for where a typical Brazos Valley September is expected to feel like. It is almost all but likely that September 2023 will go down as the all-time hottest September Bryan-College Station has experienced in the last 141 years of record keeping.
It will likely be a sweaty visit to the pumpkin patch (again) this year. The Climate Prediction Center’s forecast is leaning toward likely above-average temperatures when the next 31 days are all said and done. The agency currently gives the Brazos Valley a 50% to 60% chance for abnormal warmth to continue into the new month.
This does not mean the triple-digits or even high 90s will fill every afternoon through this spooky month. Above average for October means anything above:
- October 1st Low: 66°
- October 1st High: 87°
- October 31st Low: 55°
- October 31st High: 76°
The latest triple-digit temperature on record in Bryan-College Station was recorded on October 4th, 1904 when the high reached 100°. The all-time warmest October on record for the Brazos Valley: 2004 when the average temperature for the month ended at 77°, almost 6° above what is considered average for the 10th month of the year. The most recent year to make the top 10 list of warmest Octobers: 2021 when the average temperature of 74.5° secured the number 8 spot.
October is an important month of wet weather for Central and Southeast Texas. For the Brazos Valley, it is the month of the year that is expected to yield the most rainfall. In Bryan-College Station, that means around 5″ of rain should fill most rain gauges around here.
The outlook is for the area to hold an equal chance for either above or below-average rainfall. A slightly better signal for typical or above typical precipitation is just north of Milam, Robertson, and Leon Counties. After falling short over 9″ of rain since May, October could provide a sizeable dent in drought conditions if cold fronts can start rolling far enough south to kick off timely rain events. That is something that will need to be handled in the more short-term forecasts over the coming weeks.
REST OF 2023 | OCTOBER • NOVEMBER • DECEMBER
2023s excessive heat has made it a serious contender to become one of the, if not the actual, all-time hottest years Bryan-College Station has experienced since 1882.
The temperature outlook for the final three months of the year leans toward the potential for above-average temperatures. This does not mean that cool or cold snaps will not occur, but the signals in the forecast do suggest that more days will be warmer than typical heading through the holiday season.
- OCTOBER: Average monthly low: 60.2° | Monthly Average high: 81.9°
- NOVEMBER: Average monthly low: 49.8° | Monthly Average high: 71.1°
- DECEMBER: Average monthly low: 42.8° | Monthly Average high: 63.4°
This is where a glimmer of hope comes for the Brazos Valley. Including the outlook for possible average rainfall through the month of October, the final three months are projected to have the chance of ending with above-average rainfall. This would mean the chance for much of the area to collect about a foot of rain before the ball drops to ring in 2024.
How that rain comes and if it can happen in timely events versus big, impactful deluges is something that will need to be monitored in the short-range forecasts. NOAA calculates that 6″ to 9″ of rain is needed over a four-month period to restore soil moisture and alleviate drought conditions. This forecast is hopeful that the fall and winter months can do just that ahead of the spring growing season.
Copyright 2023 KBTX. All rights reserved.