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    Thunderstorms to Aid Drought, Ease Heat Across Texas

    By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
    September 12, 2015, 5:54:43 PM EDT

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    Thunderstorms will rumble across Texas through the end of this week before a blast of cooler, less humid air arrives this weekend.

    According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Josh Searles, "The combination of enhanced moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and advancing cold fronts will cause showers and thunderstorms to develop across parts of Texas over the next couple of days."

    Breaking: A Powerful Front Moves East


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    After a very wet spring across much of Texas, rain was very limited across much of the state during the summer.

    The majority of Texas received 200 percent or more of their normal rainfall during from the beginning of March to the end of June. While the Texas Panhandle remained wet through the hot summer months of July and August, much of central and eastern Texas was quite dry.

    Observed Rainfall Across Texas
    CityRainfall (Mar 1 to Jun 30)Percent of NormalRainfall (Jul 1 to Aug 31)Percent of Normal
    Amarillo16.36"19910.27"179
    Austin23.04"1950.75"18
    Corpus Christi28.44"2804.12"72
    Dallas29.00"1901.38"34
    Houston38.00"2143.55"47
    Lubbock15.81"2014.21"110
    McAllen16.51"2442.90"93
    Midland9.59"2001.73"47
    San Antonio25.50"2030.36"7

    According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott, "In Houston, nearly 200 percent of their normal precipitation was recorded in April and June, and in May, it was nearly 300 percent of normal."

    "Conditions dried out drastically, with Houston receiving only 16 percent of their normal rainfall in July," she added.

    According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 91 percent of Texas was drought-free into the beginning of June. Since then, only 58 percent of the state remains drought-free, which is the western half and along the southeast coast. Parts of northeastern Texas are currently in severe and extreme drought.

    The lack of tropical systems tracking across the Gulf of Mexico due to El Niño has not helped in receiving summertime rainfall.


    650x366_09091843_texas_rain


    While thunderstorms over the next couple of days will not end the redeveloped drought across eastern Texas, it will bring some relief.

    The rain, while beneficial, will be too much, too fast in some areas. Some thunderstorms that develop will be capable of producing heavy rain, which will lead to localized flash flooding.

    "This front will be packing plenty of moisture, so thunderstorms are likely through Friday," Elliott said. "These storms are more likely to produce heavy rainfall than anything severe."

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    Coincidentally, the heaviest storms are expected to track across the drought areas of eastern Texas.

    Use AccuWeather Minutecast® to get a minute-by-minute precipitation forecast for your area.

    A new cold front will swing south across the state this weekend, ushering in not only more thunderstorms, but also significantly cooler and less humid air for much of the state. The exception will be deep south Texas.


    650x366_09091844_cooldown_timing


    In Houston and Dallas, this weekend will feature highs around 80 with low humidity. This will mark a significant change and make it feel more like fall. Normal highs for both cities are in the lower 90s.

    As we transition into the fall and the winter seasons, an expected strong El Niño will provide the opportunity for plenty of rain to fall across Texas.

    AccuWeather Meteorologist Andy Mussoline contributed content to this story.

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