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June 2, 2011 / Dave Gorham

Disturbance Brings Drought Relief? So Close, Yet So Far Away…

Yesterday, I was a little more optimistic that drought-stricken Texas would finally get some beneficial rain from Tropical Disturbance 5, but that doesn’t look to be the case any more. It’s so close, yet so far away! The heaviest showers look to remain well south of the area now. At least our friends in South Texas might have a better shot at some relief since they’re currently in a severe to extreme drought.

Southeast Texas is currently in an extreme to exceptional drought. Image: U.S. Drought Monitor

This morning Disturbance 5 is located about 240 miles south of the Mississippi River Delta and moving west-southwest at 25 mph. Most of the associated thunderstorms remain northwest through north of the center with a small area of storms increasing just southeast of the center.

Image: ImpactWeather TropicsWatch

Atmospheric conditions remain generally unfavorable for development and the latest guidance suggests it will move inland tomorrow morning into northern Mexico or South Texas. However, there is still a slight chance it could strengthen and briefly become a depression before it moves inland.

As far as impacts along the Texas/Mexico coast, it should move inland tomorrow morning bringing the risk of heavy showers and thunderstorms from the mid-Texas coast southward into Mexico. 1-3 inches of rain will be possible with this system with wind gusts up to 45 knots.

Whether Disturbance 5 strengthens or not, hopefully the fact that the start of the 2011 Hurricane Season is kicking off with an actual disturbance in the Gulf will get everyone thinking about their hurricane preparations.

Although hurricane season is definitely on our minds, we’re also very concerned with the on going drought situation here in Texas. The picture below from YourWeatherBlog editor Dave Gorham shows how the drought is impacting his neighborhood lake. Typically the water level is just above the grass, but for the last couple of months Dave has been enjoying his new beachfront property. This picture is about a week old and Dave reports that even more of the rock has become visible over the past few days. Dave lives just 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico — an area not typically thought of as drought-stricken.

The Houston area is almost 14 inches below normal in terms of rainfall. Photo: Dave Gorham

Over the next couple of weeks it looks like we’ll see a changing weather pattern which could help bring us some relief later in the month. According to ImpactWeather StormWatch Manager Fred Schmude, above-average rainfall is expected across a large area extending from the Gulf Coast northward across the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and interior Northeast. This would be a dramatic change for a large part of Texas which has already seen record dry weather during the past several months.

Precipitation Outlook for June, 2011. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

There’s no denying that we need rain here in Southeast Texas, but I’m certainly not hoping it comes from a tropical system (specifically a tropical storm or a hurricane). I can honestly say though I’m prepared for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season (unlike I was back in 08’ for Hurricane Ike, I’ll admit) and I hope you are too!

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