Above normal temps, drought may linger

Regina Bird

Fall has officially arrived, and as we enter into October this is a transitional month for parts of the Plains as temperatures typically cool.

This may not be the case for this year though. For most of the plains, October isn’t expected to be as cool as normal. Temperatures are forecast to be above seasonal norms in the next month.

Even long-term trends keep the warmer than average temperatures around through December for the southern Plains into Kansas.

October will likely include below normal precipitation for a majority of Texas into southern Nebraska. That area of below average precipitation expands farther north even into South Dakota as we look ahead the next three months.

This lack of precipitation looks problematic for the drought situation as much of the Plains will likely be dealing with at least abnormally dry conditions as we enter into the winter season.

As we look ahead to the winter season, the worldview is still showing a high likelihood of a switch to La Niña from current ENSO-neutral by winter. This is currently expected to be a weak La Niña.

Looking back at September, while some were left with dry conditions there was also some notable moisture from Hurricane Nicholas. Some Texas totals included 7.91 inches in League City, 5.7inches in Pearland and 3.95 inches in Houston, according to the National Weather Service. The hurricane also meant very strong wind gusts for portions of south Texas.

The summer heat didn’t want to let go for some in September. Record highs were noted around the middle of the month in places like Borger, Texas; Del Rio, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Imperial, Nebraska, and Chadron, Nebraska. The most notable of these was Borger with a new monthly record high of 106 degrees F.

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