AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The High Plains has seen its fair share of extreme heat the last two months. What does this mean for the area in August?
According to Climate.gov, warmer than normal temperatures for the southern and western parts of the U.S are anticipated.
“In the summer months, whenever a ridge of high pressure settles right over the top of you, it really doesn’t matter whether we’re in an El Niño or La Niña,” said KAMR Local 4 News’ Chief Meteorologist John Harris. “If that ridge is over the top of your area, it’s going to sink and compress. With the summertime temperatures aloft for July and August, you’re typically going to see those temperatures get close to 100 or hotter.”
On the Precipitation Outlook for August 2023, the High Plains will expect equal chances for precipitation and portions of the northern High Plains will be above average.
“We’re still looking at average to above average chances for rain. We’re still in an El Niño. Believe it or not, even though we’re kind of getting back to wildfire threat right now, overall, it still looks good for the possibility for additional precipitation throughout the rest of the month,” said Harris. “It will come in spurts so to speak, and you’ll have to be lucky to have a thunderstorm over your location because a lot of time with summertime convection, they’re very popcorn type thunderstorms.”
Eastern New Mexico is in an area where they are likely to see drought develop. At this time, the Panhandle is not in a drought, due to the rainfall we have received this year. The drought monitor has most of our area under no drought, but are these no drought conditions expected to continue through August?
“In the Texas Panhandle, we’re one step away from being a desert,” said Harris. “It’s tough to say. Typically, when we’re in an El Niño type of temporary climate change, that does at least give us better chances to stay at or above average with rainfall.”
Harris went on to explain that during our wet season in the summer, the average rainfall total increases about a tenth of an inch each day. The High Plains needs to continue to have rainfall to keep a surplus above the average rainfall total.
Taking a look at the state of Texas, hot and dry conditions for most of the bottom half of the state will be tracked. The High Plains is also expected to see above average temperatures and average to above average precipitation.