Much-needed rain will fall from Kansas to Texas this weekend as a cold front becomes nearly stalled over the region. Unseasonably warm, dry weather will encompass the East. The exception will be across Florida, as strong easterly winds and rough surf batter the state's east coast. Showers will dampen the state as well.
Mostly tranquil, warmer weather will settle into the West.
Texas Bat Colonies Plagued by Drought
In this photo taken Sept. 1, 2011, some of the 20 million bats emerge from Bracken Cave in Bracken, Texas. A depleting insect population has forced millions of bats around drought-stricken Texas to emerge before nightfall for food runs, making them more susceptible to natural predators. Some experts have already noticed fewer bats emerging from caves and have seen evidence that more infant bats are showing up dead, hinting at a looming population decline. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
More than 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate from Mexico to Bracken, Texas every year to give birth, according to the Associated Press. The female bats swoop in around March and stay for the summer before heading home. Primarily, these bats typically feed on "agricultural pests" (over 200 pounds worth per daily meal for the entire colony).
Texas suffered from severe drought conditions throughout the summer. "It is the worst drought in over 50 years in general," said AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "This was probably the hottest and driest summer on record for the state."
Because of these conditions, the bats' food supply is declining in Texas. Usually, the bats head out to feed around 8:30 p.m. The bats are now heading out to forage for food roughly two hours earlier, before sunset, according to the Associated Press.
The emergence of the bats generally brings in tourists. The massive size of the colony is visible even on weather radar. While tourism is up for the nocturnal creatures' premature outings, the bats themselves are suffering.
Thankfully, experts believe there will be no long-term damage to the colony.
Tropical Bird Stranded by Hurricane Irene
Photo Credit: Glen Tepke - http://www.pbase.com/gtepke/
According to the Associated Press, a White-tailed Tropicbird was discovered in Claremont, N.H. on Aug. 30. The bird, generally making its home over warmer waters, had never been seen in the state before, said Saint Anslem College Biology Professor Jay Pitocchelli.
Pitocchelli also said that finding the bird so far inland anywhere was very rare.
The bird was taken to a wild bird hospital in Lyme, but it died the next day. The bird's body is scheduled to be sent to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Parts of this story were contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
A cold front pushing through the Southeast will bring the risk of severe weather to part of the region Thursday.
Tropical Depression Two has lost its battle to become the next Atlantic tropical storm, but it will still increase shower activity across the Caribbean to end the week.
A potent storm system moving out of the Northwest United States will bring an elevated risk of tornadoes to parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday.
Severe thunderstorms that blasted areas of Arkansas with damaging winds and heavy rainfall will continue to race through eastern Texas.
As California continues to be plagued by intense drought conditions, some surfers are reaping what may be one of very few benefits to such a dry season.
Southeastern MA (1990)
Torrential rains: Middleboro 7.20" Bridgewater 5.00" Tauton 4.33" Abington 3.05" Cars were stranded in high water in Fall River, MA.
Phoenix, AZ (1992)
Between 4" and 6" of rain fell in locally heavy downpours.
A record cold morning: 43 degrees at Alpena and 42 degrees St. Ste. Marie.