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Critical Fire Weather Conditions Persist in California; Becoming Unsettled over the Rockies & Gulf Coast

Dry and gusty winds will continue to result in elevated to critical fire weather conditions across portions of California through Sunday. Elsewhere, a more active pattern will return to the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies with areas of rain & snow, while showers and storms develop over the lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast. Read More >

Clouds and rain chances will both increase through the day as a low pressure system approaches from the southwest . Some isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the southern portions of the region this afternoon. High temperatures will range from the lower 50s to around 60.
Rain chances return this afternoon/night for North and Central TX. Showers are expected develop across Central TX early this afternoon and will expand northward late this evening/night before shifting to the east during the overnight hours. Isolated storms with a few lightning strikes possible. Overnight lows will stay in the low to mid 40s.
After quiet weather on Sunday, another disturbance will move across the region, bringing chances of rain and isolated thunderstorms back to North and Central Texas.
Maybe you've heard a rumor about wintry weather before Christmas? It's true, some of the forecast data does suggest a weather pattern favorable for winter weather. However, this potential event is so far out (beyond 7 days in fact), that a great deal of uncertainty exists, and as a result, we cannot definitively pin down what the weather pattern will look like. We know that arctic air is likely to surge through the region late Thursday and into Friday. We do NOT know whether precipitation will be able to develop in the cold airmass, as this will depend on the position of upper-level features which are being poorly modeled at this time. The two main scenarios are either for a mainly dry and cold forecast, or one with impacts from freezing rain, sleet, and snow across the region. Keep checking back for updates as the potential impacts from this next system become more certain.
Another cold front will move into the region this evening and overnight. This front will result in a north wind shift, but gusty winds are not expected until Thursday. Low temperatures tonight and Thursday morning will be in the 30s for most locations.

 
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Drought Information

 


 

For North and Central Texas, autumn is a wet season between the drier seasons of summer and winter.  However, the fall of 2017 was drier than normal, and drought conditions have emerged.  With La Niña conditions projected to prevail throughout the cold season, below normal precipitation is expected to continue this winter. 

 


Current Drought Conditions

  

U.S. Drought Monitor

 

U.S. Drought Monitor - North and Central Texas

 

U.S. Drought Monitor - Texas

 


Fire Danger

  

Abundant summer rainfall resulted in considerable vegetative growth.  An early freeze sent this warm season vegetation into dormancy, and these cured fuels will remain throughout the cold season.  During warm winter days with low humidity, this dry biomass may enhance wildfire initiation.

Even if a burn ban is not in effect for your area, it is still important to be vigilant about fire usageAvoid open flames near dry vegetation, and assure all coals and embers are fully extinguished.

 

Texas Outdoor Burn Bans

Keetch-Byram Drought Index

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is a drought statistic specifically designed to assess fire danger.

 


Water Restrictions

 

After nearly 5 years of significant water restrictions, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) began allowing twice-per-week watering on May 1, 2015.  Sprinklers and other irrigation systems are still be prohibited between 10 am and 6 pm (April 1 to October 31).  The NTMWD serves 1.6 million customers east and northeast of the city of Dallas.

In April 2014, the Fort Worth City Council made permanent its twice-per-week limit on landscape watering.  Only hand watering is allowed between 10 am and 6 pm.  Arlington, also within the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) service area, is still requesting that residents adhere to a twice-per-week watering schedule, but the formal restrictions have been lifted.  Dallas has made permanent its twice-per-week limit, but the restriction on daytime watering is limited to the warm season (April 1 to October 31).  Since water restrictions vary considerably throughout the Metroplex, residents should keep informed with the current guidelines from their municipality or water utility provider.

Voluntary conservation continues for both Waco and Temple/Killeen.  However, water restrictions remain in effect for some communities within McLennan County and Bell County.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) maintains a list of water restrictions across the state.

 


 Drought Links

 

 National Integrated Drought Information System

 National Drought Mitigation Center

  Drought Impact Reporter

  Precipitation Estimates

  Lake Levels