Wet or Dry Year? Only time will tell

As soon as the calendar page flips to January, there is ongoing discussion about rainfall for the New Year.  Will it be a wet year or a dry year?

State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says there is a pattern of wet weather ahead for much of Texas following a warmer and drier winter.

In a Feb. 7 Texas A&M AgriLife Communications news release, Nielsen-Gammon said “records show it was the warmest November through January for the State of Texas since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  Some stations in the lower Rio Grande Valley recorded temperatures as high as 96 degrees in January.  Other stations in that region and along the coast never recorded daily temperatures below 70 degrees during the month.”

Although there are chances for cool fronts to cross the state in the next couple of weeks, he says he doesn’t see any prolonged cool weather at this time.

Nielsen-Gammon said rainfall has been “a mixed bag for Texas since November.”  He noted that the majority of West Texas received higher than normal rainfall while North Central Texas and surrounding areas received below-normal rainfall.

The news release also quotes Nielsen-Gammon as saying chances of wet weather for most of the state are expected to start over the weekend. “The rains should pacify concerns about wildfires as the state heads into the season when dead foliage and grass can become dangerous fuel for fires when mixed with high winds and a spark,” he said.

He said there hasn’t been any substantial drought developing—except in the Corpus Christi area—but there have been some lingering drought conditions in parts of the state from early fall.

SIDEBAR – Learn how Garry Karber of Perryton uses an onion, salt, and a muffin pan to forecast rainfall chances each year. http://amarillo.com/news/2017-01-10/beilue-onion-says-2017-will-be-dry-one#