Summer leaves Southern Plains in drought

Rain expected in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas this week

HOUSTON -- The sweltering summer has left parts of the Southern Plains parched, and the abnormally dry conditions will continue for a while.

The U.S. Drought Monitor showed parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are in a moderate drought as of the Sept. 16 update. A small part of both Kansas and Oklahoma are in severe drought.

Analysts said temperatures in western Kansas and both the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles have been running about 4 degrees above average over the past month.

Precipitation for the same area has been 25% below average for the month and 50% below average for the past two months.

The high heat combined with the dried ground has meant lots of evaporation and runoff of what little precipitation has fallen.

The outlook calls for likely below-average precipitation for much of the Southern Plains through the fall, with drought conditions likely to develop or persist across the region.

Rainfall this week

A series of boundaries is forecast to move through the Southern Plains this week. That will bring a chance of showers, storms and even some widespread rain to the region.

It doesn’t appear the rain will be enough to snap the dry spell, but up to 3 inches of badly needed rain are possible in some places by next Monday.