On Wednesday (April 10), strong winds and blowing dust caused numerous crashes around Lubbock. Wind speeds of 40 to 50 mph and gusts over 70 mph were observed. Coupled with low humidity and temperatures in the low 90s, made for extreme conditions and resulted in a red flag warning being issued by the National Weather Service. In Wyoming they call days where the wind speed approaches the high temperature 50/50 days, meaning 50 degrees for the high (that’s warm in Wyoming) and 50mph winds (also mild for Wyoming). Over the next week, conditions should be relatively mild over most of TX and OK, however, mild temperatures are usually accompanied by rainfall and there should be a lot of it (see below) over the next week. The exception to all this will be Far West TX, which is expected to see above average temperatures and little to no rainfall.
Several soaking-rain systems will hit the South-Central U.S. over the next week. The first will arrive this weekend with another later next week. This will result in extremely heavy rain and the prospects for flooding. A large portion of TX and OK could see 2 or more inches of rainfall.
NOAA released its temperature and precipitation rankings for March this week. The Edwards Plateau, the Rolling Plains, Southwest OK and into Northeast OK all saw below-average temperatures for the month. For precipitation, the big winner was the TX/OK Panhandle, which came in as the 103rd and 102nd (respectively) wettest March on record (out of 125 years). If you’re interested that’s worth about 1.4”of precipitation for the TX side and about 2” of precipitation for OK.
This week, the U.S. Drought Monitor reporter a little over 4% of the Contiguous U.S. in drought. That is lowest percentage since the Drought Monitor stared in 2000 and just beat out May 23, 2017 for the title. TX saw a decrease of about four percentage points considered in drought from last week while no area in OK was in drought. This is good news but we are just starting to see warmer temperatures and getting into the growing season so this is likely the lowest we will see for some time. Areas to watch going forward will be Central TX, South TX along the border, and Far West TX.