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Texas Drought Relief

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:20 PM GMT on May 23, 2014

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. NOAA.

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. Weather Underground.

I’ll update precipitation totals over the weekend as conditions warrant.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Drought

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Days 1-3 QPF. Pretty good numbers for Texas:

Drought, drought and more drought. I am glad some rain is coming to Texas.

I thought of the discussion the other week about California's drought when I read this article about federal firefighting capabilities:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obama-administrati on-presses-firefighting-funds 


I would urge people who are concerned to go read the whole article. It is unbelievable to me that getting funds for fighting big fires is so hard in Washington.  In effect, we are choosing to underfund vital programs and putting people, livestock and property at greater risk.

"... Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that the U.S. Forest Service was adding four aircraft to its firefighting fleet ahead of what's expected to be another hot, dry summer in the West.

A second DC10 and three smaller planes will support over 10,000 firefighters "in the face of what is shaping up to be a catastrophic fire season in the southwest," the Forest Service said in a statement.

Vilsack made the announcement in Colorado while discussing ways to revamp the nation's firefighting budget. Increasingly destructive fires, powered by climate change and development in once-rural areas, are devouring an increasing amount of the Forest Service's budget and forcing it to skimp on brush clearance and other programs that eliminate the fuel that feeds the blazes."

The 2015 budget request for firefighting is $2.2 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2014. ...

"This is just extraordinarily important," Vilsack said. "We need to start thinking about forest fires caused by lightning in the same way we think about tornadoes and floods and hurricanes." ...

With the announcement Tuesday, the Forest Service brought its fleet to 21 large air tankers and more than 100 helicopters. About a decade ago, the Forest Service had more than 40 of the big tankers at its disposal. According to federal analysts, the fleet hit a low of eight aircraft at one point last year, depleted by age and worries over the ability of the planes to stay in the sky. But five of the service's planes are still not ready to fly."

[emphasis mine]

[deleted - double post]












7:05AM May 23, 2014

Chris:

I created this comment by mistake yesterday but I may as well use it --

I was wondering if fracking in Texas will be affected by this drought? Fracking uses so much water. And they are doing both oil and gas fracking down there.
Great comment jerseycityjoan. Seems like you tried to send a couple of comments since the one dated 8:29 p.m GGMT. They didn't come through. Please resend!

Thanks!

Chris

Quoting 2. jerseycityjoan:

Drought, drought and more drought. I am glad some rain is coming to Texas.

I thought of the discussion the other week about California's drought when I read this article about federal firefighting capabilities:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obama-administrati on-presses-firefighting-funds 


I would urge people who are concerned to go read the whole article. It is unbelievable to me that getting funds for fighting big fires is so hard in Washington.  In effect, we are choosing to underfund vital programs and putting people, livestock and property at greater risk.

"... Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that the U.S. Forest Service was adding four aircraft to its firefighting fleet ahead of what's expected to be another hot, dry summer in the West.

A second DC10 and three smaller planes will support over 10,000 firefighters "in the face of what is shaping up to be a catastrophic fire season in the southwest," the Forest Service said in a statement.

Vilsack made the announcement in Colorado while discussing ways to revamp the nation's firefighting budget. Increasingly destructive fires, powered by climate change and development in once-rural areas, are devouring an increasing amount of the Forest Service's budget and forcing it to skimp on brush clearance and other programs that eliminate the fuel that feeds the blazes."

The 2015 budget request for firefighting is $2.2 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2014. ...

"This is just extraordinarily important," Vilsack said. "We need to start thinking about forest fires caused by lightning in the same way we think about tornadoes and floods and hurricanes." ...

With the announcement Tuesday, the Forest Service brought its fleet to 21 large air tankers and more than 100 helicopters. About a decade ago, the Forest Service had more than 40 of the big tankers at its disposal. According to federal analysts, the fleet hit a low of eight aircraft at one point last year, depleted by age and worries over the ability of the planes to stay in the sky. But five of the service's planes are still not ready to fly."

[emphasis mine]


ROSWELL, N.M. —More than 4 inches of rain fell overnight, flooding city streets and stranding drivers in Roswell and Chaves County.

Read more: Link
Over the past two days, I have received 3.6 inches of rain near Snyder, Texas. It's currently raining, and more is expected over the next couple of days.
Okonite will also be asking for permission to install barbed wire fencing to protect some outdoor materials. - Bernadine Fried
Today in Victoria, Tx, Neighbors rain gauge overflowed, capacity 5".
Glad to see they're finally getting some relief.
Half a million evacuated as China braces for more flooding

Flooding in southern China killed 37 people and displaced nearly half a million in the last week, according to a statement released by the Chinese government today as it prepared for worse
Thousands were rescued from their homes in southern China as local weather bureau authorities predicted the flooding to continue over the week.


Link
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.