TYLER, Texas — After a wet start to 2019, the last three months have been extremely dry and extremely hot. September 2019 ended up being the hottest September on record in Tyler. It actually wasn't even close, the record for average temperature was smashed by 1.1 degrees.
The new record set was an average hourly temperature of 84.7 degrees beating the previous record of 83.6 degrees set over 100 years ago back in 1911.
We only saw one day under 90 degrees, and that was due to the clouds from Tropical Storm Imelda. If it wasn't for Imelda, every day for the entire month temperatures would have reached 94 or higher.
On top of the extreme extended heat over the last three months, Tyler has also seen a rainfall deficit of 7.46". During that time period, we saw the third driest stretch on record during that time period. Lufkin has seen 65% of it's average rainfall and Longview saw a very close to normal amount of rain over that time period. Both locations were helped significantly from Tropical Storm Imelda, which happened to miss dropping measurable rainfall in the Tyler area.
Between 1-3" of rain fell since the beginning of July on northern Cherokee, most of Smith, southeast Wood, Upshur and southeast Camp counties. The conditions have enhanced a developing flash drought across several counties in East Texas. A severe drought has been issued for several counties and is expected to be extended on Thursday when the new drought monitor comes out.
According to the National Weather Service in Shreveport, soil moisture is much below normal across the severe drought stricken areas of East Texas, which has resulted in fair to poor pasture and range land conditions. Soybeans and cotton continued to decline from the heat and lack of moisture. Given the lack of soil moisture, some farmers were about two weeks behind in planting their winter wheat, while stock pond levels have been reduced as well. the recent rainfall associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda may allow producers to get one more cutting of hay before the season ends, especially over portions of East Texas.
Burn bans are also in effect for Anderson, Henderson, Morris, Upshur, Smith, and Cherokee counties in East Texas. Fire danger will remain moderate to high across the region through at least the first week of October. More counties could be added to the burn ban list if we don't get some rain soon.
The forecast is calling for some well needed rain across the region over the next seven days. Two different cold fronts are expected to work across the region, not only bringing some showers, but some much cooler weather as well by next week.
We have not seen back to back days with below normal temperatures since the beginning of August. It will be over eight weeks before that happens. We are expecting the streak to possibly be broken early next week and highs are expected to dip into the upper 70 or low 80s for a few days next week. Let's hope this forecast pans out!
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