With summer rapidly approaching, April tends to be a pivotal month in southeast Texas.
For one, it is the second driest month of the year along the coast in terms of total average rainfall. If the rains fail to materialize during the month, soil moisture can rapidly become depleted as warmer temperatures set in. For another, the bulk of the rain during the month will often come in one or two downpours. This, again, is less favorable for soil moisture and vegetation than when precipitation occurs at regular intervals.
Fortunately, the latest models runs are suggesting that this April may escape some of the problems we have seen in the past, such as April, 1984 when no rain at all was recorded during the month. Or, even 2011, when only 0.12:” of rain was measured in Galveston.
A stalled front in the Gulf of Mexico, a developing frontal trough and an upper-level disturbance tracking in from the west is forecast to bring fairly decent amounts of rain to Galveston County from later today into late Sunday. Even more promising, the longer term models are suggesting another round of fairly good rain by late next weekend or early the following week. If these occur, then we will be on our way to experiencing a fairly good April in terms of precipitation and soil moisture.
Will this come to pass? The chances of rain this weekend seem fairly good. The chances 7 to-9 days down the road are a little more speculative. Still, I am optimistic at this point in time!
Below are some links related to this blog:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/fxc/hgx/graphicast/image_full2.jpg (Houston-Galveston NWS graphic on this weekend’s rainfall outlook)
http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/Loop/southplains_loop.gif (Current Texas radar loop)
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610prcp.new.gif (6-10 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center)
http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2014040500/gfs_mslp_pcpn_scus.html (GFS Model outlook loop)