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Amarillo on track for significant drought if rain doesn’t arrive soon

No precipitation in Amarillo for 43 days has only made the drought worse.
Over the past few weeks Amarillo has not measured any kind of precipitation setting up the...
Over the past few weeks Amarillo has not measured any kind of precipitation setting up the region to have a possible extreme drought if rain doesn’t come soon.(KFDA)
Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Over the past few weeks, Amarillo has not measured any kind of precipitation setting up the region for a significant drought if rain does not come soon.

The dry forecast is only growing since it started in the Texas Panhandle and parts of Eastern New Mexico. The more days without moisture, the dryness expands into other areas.

This time of year, usually starts the dry season, but with no rain for the past 43 days, this has only made the drought worse.

Right now, the long range outlook is for drier weather.

“The long-term weather patterns are being affected right now by La Nina in the tropical Pacific Ocean which tends to favor drier than normal conditions across all of the southern United States,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State climatologist and professor of meteorology at Texas A&M University.

The dry wind flow and lack of rain has caused the drought.

“What kind of exacerbates this is that this is the dry time of year anyway. The next four months on average bring the least rainfall or snow for the whole year. So, you know, droughts usually start about this time of year where when we go into a dry period, and then the weather pattern starts to shape up where it’s going to be drier than normal. I mean that kind of puts us behind the eight ball,” said Doppler Dave, chief meteorologist at Newschannel 10.

We’ve had low level moisture over the past few mornings with fog and drizzle.

“We’re going to have to establish a little better moisture supply, but then also our jet stream pattern is going to have to help out. It’s been going around us to the north lately and bringing in dry fronts, but not wet systems. That’s what is going to have to change,” said Doppler Dave.

The late season heat has only made the dry season worse.

“High temperatures exacerbate droughts for agricultural purposes because, I mean there is. Doesn’t stay around as long and there’s more needed. Extremes and reservoirs have problems as well because they are open to the air so higher temperatures means greater reparative losses from them also,” said professor Nielsen-Gammon.

Two extreme drought events that occurred in the past 10 years still hold higher drought rankings to this current drought.

“In 2011, when we only got seven inches of rain for the whole year. Now we’re not doing that much better this year, we’re about 10 inches. I mean if we didn’t get much moisture now between now and the end of the year, we’d rank in the top three or four driest years... The second event that really stands out is not that long ago and that was when we went 126 days in a row without any precipitation... This one we have right now is significant, but it doesn’t rank up there with some of our most dramatic events,” said Doppler Dave.

“It’s unfortunate that two of the driest years on record look like they’re going to be two of the last 10 years,” said professor Nielsen-Gammon.

What’s changing next week is a nicer upper level system that looks much more encouraging for precipitation.

The forecast is for some moisture starting early next week.

Especially Monday, Tuesday and maybe into Wednesday.

It’s the best chance for moisture the area has seen in a while.

Keep up with our weather team here.

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