Summer’s unrelenting surprises

Regina Bird

Wildfires, drought and a hurricane, the Plains states dealt with them all in some fashion during August.

One of the largest fires in modern history for the state of Colorado occurred in August, but the Pine Gulch Fire was only one of multiple fires ongoing in the state.

Evacuation orders were in place as Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane early Aug. 27. Southern Louisiana along with southeast Texas experienced widespread damage following the storm surge, catastrophic winds, heavy rain and tornadoes.

A derecho left devastating damage across parts of the Midwest earlier in the month. This fast moving complex of severe thunderstorms with very strong winds traveled 770 miles in 14 hours on Aug. 10, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Along with widespread structural damage, a swath of flattened crops added another blow to farmers already dealing with a rough year.

Hopefully the next month will be free of natural disasters.

For the month of September, below average precipitation appears probable from Nebraska to Kansas to western parts of Oklahoma and Texas. For temperatures, the next month looks to feature above average temperatures for western portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Temperatures through November should average out above seasonal norms for all of the Plains. Limited moisture is expected the next three months for Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas with precipitation totals through November forecast to be below average.

This lack of moisture will not be helpful for those still dealing with drought conditions. Drought conditions will likely remain for the next several months for western portions of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma along with western and central Texas.

In the bigger view, while ENSO-neutral conditions continue, the chances for La Nina developing this fall continue to increase. There’s also a good chance if it does develop that we could see it continue into the winter months.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX