This year has been an eventful year for weather in the ArkLaTex. Much of the year has been very wet. At one point in the year, much of the area was anywhere from ten to twenty inches above its normal rainfall. You can see in the map below that since last November, some areas have seen almost 50% above their normal rainfall. This is due in large part to the El Nino pattern that has been in place for much of the year.
Over the past few months, we have seen a shift in the El Nino cycle and it appears that we are settling into a La Nina pattern. This is one reason why this year’s tropical season has been so active. Usually, a La Nina weather pattern means that we see drier conditions in our area. It is starting to look like this go around with La Nina will be no different.
You can see in the map below that during the past 30 days that we have experienced well below-normal rainfall. Most of the area has seen less than half of what is normal for the period. A few areas have received less than a fifth of their what is normal.
Thanks to the wet start that we have had in our area this year, most of the area is doing ok as far as moisture. However, that could be changing. The Drought Monitor is a product issued by the NWS every Thursday. This week’s version shows that abnormally dry conditions are developing over much of East and Northeast Texas.
With La Nina continuing to intensify, the outlook for winter shows that the recent dry weather could continue through the upcoming winter. That means that we could see drought conditions continue to develop and increase. We do not have any burn bans in effect for our area, but that could change in the coming months. I have created a page on our website here that you can check the latest monthly and yearly rainfall on drought conditions. This page is updated daily and will also contain a link to our Burn Ban page if and when they are issued. It appears that these conditions could worsen in the coming months as the winter is looking warmer and drier than normal. See the details in my winter outlook here.