Texas Drought Relief
The heaviest rains to fall in much of northwest and central Texas in 8-10 months will bring respite to the drought-weary region. More heavy rainfall is expected this weekend. Here are some details.The latest drought monitor report for Texas issued on May 22nd, shows the portions of the state that are currently experiencing D4 (Exceptional) drought conditions. Relief is on the way for most of these areas.
A slow moving deep trough centered over the Great Basin is funneling a plume of moisture up and over West Texas from Mexico and the Pacific. This will result in several rounds of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms for the region over this coming weekend. Rainfall totals for much of western and northern Texas are expected to range in from 1”-4” by next Monday. Heavy rain has already occurred in much of the area the past 48 hours (as of 2 p.m. Friday, May 23rd).Amarillo
had only seen 1.16” of precipitation for the entire year (since January 1st) as of May 20th which was around 5” below normal to date. Over the past two days (May 21-22) the city has picked up an additional 1.42”, their biggest rainstorm since at least last August (2013).Lubbock
had a meager 0.90” since January 1st as of May 20th until a flooding 1.80” fell Thursday-Friday, May 22-23. This was their first 1”+ rainfall since last October. Areas around Lubbock have received even greater amounts resulting in flash flooding. A MESONET site one mile southeast of Ralls (which is 15 miles east of Lubbock) measured 3.69” of precipitation in the past 24 hours.San Angelo
is still on track for its driest year-to-date on record with only 0.85” so far since January 1st (which is 6” below average). No rainfall has yet fallen at the airport site but that is likely to change today and over the weekend. The city’s last day with a 1”+ rainfall was on September 20, 2013. Forecasts call for 2”-3” of rain in San Angelo over the weekend.
One of the cities worst hit by the drought this year is Wichita Falls
and, unfortunately, they may be too far east to received any substantial rainfall from this weather system.Weather Underground precipitation forecast map for late Friday, May 23rd outlines the portions of Texas that have the best chance for thunderstorms and rainfall. This pattern will remain pretty much the same for the entire Memorial Day weekend.
I’ll update precipitation totals over the weekend as conditions warrant.
Christopher C. Burt