Texas drought continues, but Houston area still holding up fairly well

As occurs each week, the U.S. Drought Monitor updated their drought assessment yesterday. Texas continues to see pretty difficult drought conditions overall, however that’s not so much the case locally.

West and central Texas are being hard hit by drought this spring with over 15 percent of the state in D4, or “exceptional” drought. (NOAA)

While over 87 percent of the state is classified in drought conditions, only about 57 percent of the Houston area qualifies for drought at this time. Our most recent serious drought occurred in 2011. It may be somewhat comforting to know that during this week in 2011, the entire state was in drought, with much of the Houston area in D4, or “exceptional” drought. At this point, while it may be tempting to compare current conditions to 2011 across Texas, that is not quite an accurate assessment, certainly locally.

The Houston area’s drought situation is better than most of the rest of Texas, with the only severe drought assessed to be south of the city and no areas of extreme or exceptional drought at this time. (NOAA)

Precipitation over the next few weeks is not going to be absent from Texas, so we’ll see if it’s enough to start denting this drought before it gets too troublesome. But if your travels do take you to central or western Texas, just be aware that the ground there will be much drier than usual and fire risk higher than usual.

Today

The week will close out with, you guessed it, wind. Look for yet another breezy day, with southeasterly winds of 15 to 25 mph. Any morning clouds should give way to sun, with high temperatures up into the 80s.

Saturday

More wind.

Another round of breezy to gusty winds will be likely Saturday. (Pivotal Weather)

Look for another day of 15 to 25 mph winds, with higher gusts at times over the water. We will see a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures warming from the 70s into the 80s. Humidity will remain high.

Sunday

Look for mostly a rinse and repeat of Saturday, with wind perhaps checking in just a notch under Saturday.

One thing I haven’t yet mentioned: Rain. We don’t expect anything meaningful or widespread this weekend, but the chance of a passing shower or some patchy drizzle or sprinkles is not zero. So although it probably won’t rain on you this weekend, don’t be entirely shocked if it does for a short time.

Next week

As we continue our transition toward summer, the cold fronts pack less and less punch in terms of temperatures. The cold front we are expecting later Monday or Tuesday morning should follow that rule as well. Expect scattered showers or a chance of storms, especially north and west of Houston on Monday with morning lows in the 70s warming to highs in the 80s. Those storms should move into the Houston area Monday evening or night, assuming they can survive the trip. There are still some questions as to how much in the way of storms we will see.

Whatever the case, clearing should commence on Tuesday with slightly cooler and less humid weather arriving early. Perhaps we’ll see lows in the 60s with highs in the lower 80s. You’ll probably notice the more comfortable weather mostly on Tuesday night into Wednesday when some outlying areas drop back into the 50s.

Low temperatures may find their way into the 50s on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning next week. (Pivotal Weather)

That will be nice, but it will be short-lived. Humidity should come surging back in late next week, restoring our typical mid-spring pattern. For those of you planning to get back out for MS 150 next weekend, it looks as if you’ll have very warm, humid weather, along with southerly winds. For day 1, it won’t be a true tailwind per se (certainly if you’re starting from Austin), but it will definitely be coming off the Gulf as it stands right now. The day 2 trek from La Grange to Kyle Field should have a pretty stout tailwind. More on this next week!

5 thoughts on “Texas drought continues, but Houston area still holding up fairly well”

  1. Even for a rain-averse person like me, I’m rooting for a little bit of rain to ease the drought. Sprinkle half an inch over West Texas and sprinkle half an inch here. Pause for two days and then repeat.

    But, let’s not go crazy like we usually do and get three inches in one day.

  2. “The day 2 trek from La Grange to Kyle Field should have a pretty stout tailwind.” Pleeeease please please pretty please. No surprise east winds that day thank you.

  3. There was practically no rain the past week, and yet the drought monitor depiction did not change in Houston…? I have measured about 0.1 inches of rain this whole month to date.

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