The rainfall over the past few weeks exemplify the large weather disparities between different portions of the state of Texas. While the southeast part of Texas has been inundated with torrential and sometimes flooding rainfall, the western half of the state remains parched.
Severe to extreme drought continues to negatively impact agriculture in areas of the Panhandle. Since the drought's onset in 2011, billions of dollars have been lost. Meanwhile, a moist flow of air off the Gulf of Mexico, combined with nearly stationary atmospheric disturbances, has promoted extremely wet weather in and around Houston.
Just in the past several days, over 6 inches of rain have fallen in places close to Houston, including Conroe which has been flooded under almost 9 inches of rain.
Unfortunately for drought-stricken areas of western Texas, a large dome of high pressure has allowed dry conditions to persist. Sinking air caused by the high pressure has helped to suppress thunderstorm development. Many locations haven't seen a drop of rain since early in June.
As we move into the rest of the summer, AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect more dry weather for the western portion of the state. This will no doubt allow the drought to worsen. If not for near- to slightly above-normal rainfall in western Texas this past spring, the drought would be far worse.
Summertime is typically the wettest portion of the year in West Texas and the region will need a wet fall and winter to climb out of their rainfall deficit.
Residents of southeast Texas can expect to see more rounds of thunderstorms in the coming week or two, although they may not be as widespread nor as heavy as recent days.
The focus for severe storms will move into the Ohio Valley on Wednesday, bringing the threat for damaging winds, hail and heavy rainfall.
Strong thunderstorms are impacting areas from Texas to Louisiana with large hail, damaging winds and a risk of tornadoes.
Severe storms, some capable of producing tornadoes, will threaten communities across northeastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana and Arkansas into Tuesday night.
The same storm system responsible for producing violent thunderstorms in Oklahoma recently will reach the Atlantic Seaboard Thursday.
While additional strong thunderstorms will roll through through portions of tornado-ravaged Oklahoma Tuesday, the risk of tornadoes has diminished.
The atmospheric severe weather engine began firing on all cylinders this past weekend and reached full speed Monday over Oklahoma.
San Antonio, TX (1998)
Very dry since April 1st - only 0.05 of rain.
Liberal, KS (1933)
A powerful F4 tornado (winds 207-260 mph) hidden in a dust storm devastates the business district. 4 people were killed and 150 were injured. Tornado estimated to be 600 yards wide at times.
Lewistown, ME (1911)
101 degrees -- hottest ever in New England during May.