Most of Texas is out of the woods drought-wise, thanks to some much-needed precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.
NWS meteorologist Jennifer Dunn said weeks of sporadic rain showers in late spring quelled severe drought conditions Bell County was experiencing.
“The rain that we got in late May, early June, removed the drought from all of North and Central Texas,” Dunn said. We’ve been enjoying a break; hopefully we can keep the drought conditions at bay even if those temperatures heat up a bit. We’ll see what happens.”
West Texas is the only area in the Lone Star State still experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Daytime showers and thunderstorms Monday dropped 0.7 inches of rain in Killeen, according to the weather monitor at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.
According to information from The Weather Channel, Harker Heights received 1.2 inches and Temple recorded 1.6 inches, unofficially, since midnight .
The welcome rain has kept the blazing summer heat at bay, Dunn said, but brings with it an added natural nuisance not often experienced in central Texas: humidity.
“The average high temperature for the whole month of July is about 94.5 degrees,” she said. “So, right now we’re still falling below normal, but that’s been a trend over the region lately. Higher rain chances provides more cloud cover, but to offset that we’ve had a lot more humidity, too, so it hasn’t always felt like it was below normal.”
High temperatures for the rest of the week will hover in the low 90s, with low temperatures in the mid 70s.
The high temperature in Killeen Monday was a mere 80.5 degrees, according to NWS meteorologist Allison Prater, a few degrees higher than the lowest high temperature ever recorded in the Bell County area.
“That was 77 degrees in 1992 and this record goes back from 1893 to 2003,” Prater said of the lowest high temperature recorded in nearby Temple decades ago.
In contrast, the average July low temperature is about 72.3 degrees, she said.
The next few days will be a good time to mow the yard as the rest of the work week is forecast to be partly cloudy and sunny with few chances for rain.
“Rain chances are actually pretty low for the rest of the week,” Dunn said. “It looks like, at this point, we don’t really have additional rain chances for that area until the weekend, and even then it’s kind of low.”