Pouring to Parched – The Southern Drought Worsens
Areas across the South got hammered with rain this spring. Oklahoma City had the wettest month ever on record, ending May with a whopping 19.48 inches of rain. This broke the previous May record by five inches. Dallas, Texas was another city that ended the month of May crushing the previous May monthly rainfall record by over three inches! The record breaking rain (daily and monthly) across the South caused major flash flooding issues, but it did bring some good. By the start of June, the U.S. Drought Monitor was analyzing little to no drought across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Even by July the drought conditions almost ceased to exist for the Southern Plains.
Fast forward to present time, and the Drought Monitor has seen a severe increase. Why? After the rain let up this spring, high pressure has built over the South. High pressure is often associated with calm, dry weather conditions. So the last month we have seen extremely high temperatures, record breaking in some cities, and that has been drying out the soil and vegetation. Here is what the updated drought monitor looks like today.
Just since last week, we have seen the drought across Louisiana worsen from moderate to severe. Cities like Houston, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Jackson, Mississippi; Austin, Texas; and Galveston, Texas have all seen some type of drought return since mid-July and intensify in the last seven days. With the same weather pattern in place, the high pressure mentioned above, Dallas hasn’t seen a drop of rain since July 8. Austin, Texas has not picked up a drop since July 7 and Shreveport, Louisiana has only seen traces of rain since July 5.
A couple areas will get help from Mother Nature over the weekend. New Orleans is forecast to see significant measurable rainfall. Cities like Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Houston, Texas will all see a chance for a little rain too. Unfortunately for Dallas and Shreveport, they don’t look to be as lucky.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Tracey Anthony