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.

Texas drought monitor map

6-10 weather outlook

8-14 day weather outlook

February through April weather outlook

Stan Blazyk is a life-long weather enthusiast, long-time Galveston resident and author of "A Century of Galveston Weather." He has written the weather blog for the Galveston County Daily News for more than a decade.

(2) comments

Lars Faltskog

NO more cold, but more rain. Relatively speaking, the first "polar vortex" this month didn't seem to be quite as bad to us in S.E. Texas as it could have been. I still remember 1983 when it was freezing for a week/10 days. Then, in 1989 I was in Austin and I think it went down to 9 degrees a few times in January.

Our rubber trees came out of this latest winter thingy "OK". But, that wasn't the case in 2010, 2011. I lost mine, then they came back from the bottom and now they're bushes. Whatever it may be, I hope if another vortex sequel comes, it won't be any worse than a couple of weeks ago. I'm done with cold this winter.

Stan Blazyk Staff
Stan Blazyk

Still too early to promise no more cold. In fact, some models are sending in a pretty decent cold front around January 24. We will know more in a day or two about this.

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