Although the past couple of years have brought relief to drought conditions over the county and much of southeast Texas, a dry trend beginning in early November has some people worried that we may be headed back to the severe drought experienced in 2010-11.
From Nov. 1 through Jan. 15, Galveston received but 4 inches of rain, which is 5.87 inches less than would normally be expected for that time span. League City received 4.35 inches during that same period, which is 6.09 inches below normal.
The latest two-week model runs suggest that the next two weeks will continue to be drier than normal in our area. This is reflected in the two week weather outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. Since February through April is the driest period of the year in Galveston, there is some good news in that the longer term prediction from the CPC is calling for near normal precipitation.
As it is, the drought of 2010-11 never did vanish from parts of the South Plains, Panhandle and southwest Texas and the latest maps show that dry conditions are beginning to creep back to the east. So it will be important to get some needed rainfall before early spring weather settles in to the area.
Finally, speaking of model forecasts, the latest GFS 16-day model is showing a major Arctic outbreak (even colder than our recent spell) towards the end of this month. Fortunately, this forecast has to be viewed as highly speculative at this point in time. Should it still be presenting this outlook next week, then I might get more concerned.