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.
While lacking across a large part of the United States on Christmas Day, arctic air is set to make a comeback during the final days of 2014.
Ski areas will welcome the fresh power that will blanket mountains from the Alps and Apennines into the Balkans.
A storm will spread rain and disruptive snow across southeast Europe Sunday into Monday.
As snow winds down over the Central states during the weekend between Christmas and New Year's Day, a new storm will ramp up over the Northwest and will lead to travel disruptions.
There is the risk of flooding from Louisiana to Alabama this weekend, while rain may lead to travel delays in a large part of the South and spotty rain and snow reach the Northeast.
As the year comes to a close and people prepare to celebrate the start of 2015, many will be bundling up as cold weather stretches from coast to coast.
Long Branch, NJ (1913)
70 mph winds during a huge coastal storm.
South Pole, Antarctica (1978)
Record all time high of 7.5 degrees F.
Erie, PA (1989)
December, 1989 became the snowiest month on record. (The month ended with a total of 63.2" beating the record of 62.4" from January, 1978).