Drought conditions worsen across the Brazos Valley

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The latest Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning. Moderate to Severe Drought conditions continue to spread east across the Brazos Valley.

Severe Drought conditions are now noted through parts or all of Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Madison Milam, Robertson, Lee, Leon, and Washington Counties.

Even with Imelda parked over I-45 for more than 48 hours recently, beneficial rain was nowhere to be found locally. Just to the east and southeast, widespread 5" to 15" of rain fell, with localized 35" to 40" in parts of Southeast Texas.

During those same 2 to 3 days, only 0.10" to 0.50" fell in parts of the Brazos Valley, with localized 1"+ totals in a few small pockets of the area.

According to the National Weather Service, the following impacts have been noted:

• Crops in the Brazos Bottom: Nearly all corn has been harvested and cotton that has bloomed is currently being picked. Drought impact to these particular crops is not expected at this time.

• Madison County grasses appear yellow, fragile, and easy to break. Wildfire danger is particularly high for much of the county.

• Brazos County pastures have cracks in the ground as wide as 3" to 5". Livestock has to be housed differently because of these large cracks in the clay soil.

• Washington County has received some rain to tame a few grass fire concerns over the past week.

Otherwise, the entire area is experiencing cracks in the ground approximately 1" to 3" wide. Soil moisture 3" below the surface is between 15% and 25%. The highest fire danger concerns are currently in Burleson and Madison Counties, with Washington, Grimes, Brazos, and Houston County not far behind on the list.

September has brought temperatures well above the seasonal average. As of Thursday evening, only three afternoon highs were below the average, with the rest of the 23 days this month finishing above the average high. There has not been a low temperature below average this entire month.

2019 is currently 0.10° behind for the warmest September ever on record in Bryan - College Station. The current top spot belongs to September 2005 when the average temperature for the month checked in at 85.0°.