As a storm drops southward along the Rockies, much-needed rain will fall on portions of New Mexico, West Texas and adjacent northern Mexico this week.
A storm in the upper levels of the atmosphere will take an unusually far southward trip to northern Mexico this week. At the same time, a norther will drive deep into the heart of Texas.
After an initial seasonable start to the week, high temperatures will be trimmed back to the 60s and 70s beginning in many areas today.
As the storm system stalls over the region, repeating showers and thunderstorms will unload substantial rainfall at the local level.
While portions of central and eastern Texas have received enough rain in recent months to officially be removed off the drought status, areas farther west are still suffering in extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
The downpours this week should fall on at least part of the area in need. There is the potential for several inches in some locations.
Rainfall in the desert does not come easy and when it does rain, there are often issues with flash flooding.
Dry stream beds, known to locals as arroyos and washes can rapidly fill with water. Keep children from playing in these areas. Use caution at low water crossings and be alert for rapidly changing weather conditions upstream.
In many cases, the roots of the current drought extend into the late summer of 2010 with rainfall of only 25 to 50 percent of normal.
|City||Rainfall August 2010 |
to Present (Percentage)
|El Paso, Texas||51|
|Las Cruces, N.M.||50|
A couple of widely separated thunderstorms can reach as far west as portions of northern and eastern Arizona, but significant rainfall is not expected anywhere from Arizona to Southern California with this weather system.
While rainfall in these arid areas is typically lean, cutting the rainfall by one half to three-quarters over the long term can have serious consequences on agriculture, drinking water and recreation.
A lack of snow in northern New Mexico this winter, combined with the ongoing overall drought is seriously impacting water levels on the life-giving Rio Grande River.
According to the El Paso, Times, low river levels are resulting in less water available especially for non-ground water consumers across the board from drinking water to irrigation.
While the rain coming this week will certainly help with the dry conditions, more will be needed on a regular basis to alleviate the drought.
It is possible another system may visit part of the region early next week with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Later this coming week, it is possible that downpours and locally severe thunderstorms congregate in South and coastal Texas.
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