HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — If you are asking yourself, where is the rain? Then you are not the only one!
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The newest drought outlook in the Rio Grande Valley reflects this expanding extreme to exceptional drought and it includes about two-thirds of the Valley.
We have already seen some of the impacts of the drought with low water levels in Falcon Lake and several wildfires over the last few weeks.
The lack of rainfall is a trend that is expected to continue through the rest of Spring.
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their outlook with above normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall continuing into June.
Our saving grace will come in the form of tropical rains this Summer.
Based on the forecast, the Rio Grande Valley can expect extreme to expectational drought to cover the majority of the Valley.
The biggest concerns are:
1. Rapid spread of wildfires – On Wednesday there was a 10,000 acres King Fire in Brooks County. The February hard freeze during the Texas Winter Storm has only allowed for more dead and cured vegetation.
2. Negative impact on dryland crops – The region’s farmers and ranchers are already dealing with failing crops due to the hard freeze.
Additional drought will continue to impact agriculture in South Texas.
3. Likelihood of water conservation and localized water shortages is increasing – We are seeing Falcon Lake water levels continue to drop. Expect similar conservation efforts to the 2011 drought.
4. Heat Safety – High potential of feels like temperatures of 100+ degrees will become more frequent as early as late April
As for wildfires, the National Interagency Fire Center has above normal significant fire potential for all of South Texas through the month of May.
Remember, 88% of wildfires are human-caused. It is important to your part to keep our community safe. With dry frontal passages to bring continued low humidity events over the next few months, expect several critical fire weather days.