This month will go into the record books as the driest January in Galveston County since 2009. It will also mark the third consecutive month with below normal rainfall, despite a couple of cold, wet spells with rain and freezing precipitation. Galveston will finish the month with a 1.36-inch rainfall total (2.84 inches less than normal) League City is even drier with a 0.78 inches total rainfall (a 3.690-inch deficit).
Not surprisingly, moderate drought conditions have crept back into the county with abnormally dry conditions throughout most of southeast Texas. Considering that February, March and April are the three driest months of the year along the upper Texas coast, we need to get some decent rainfall soon to prevent a worsening of the developing drought.
The good news is that we should see some rain during the weekend into early next week and that fairly wet conditions may prevail beyond then. The bad news is that the amounts of rain may be too light to make a real dent in the drier than normal conditions over much of the state.
A series of upper-level disturbances, combined with ample Gulf moisture and a slow-moving cold front should provide the trigger for the needed moisture. A return to chilly, wet conditions is likely as we move into next week. Fortunately, the cold air does not seem to be frigid enough to bring a return of icing conditions to our area.
Speaking of cold, this month will go into the record books as the coldest January since 2009. The month saw six days with freezing temperatures in Galveston, which was the highest number for the month since January 1979, when the Island saw eight freezing days overall.
Meanwhile, as Galveston County shivers, Alaska continues to report record warmth. The same pattern that has funneled cold air into the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. has resulted in warm air flowing northward in the Pacific to the normally frigid Alaskan peninsula.
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