High temperatures and drought conditions persisted throughout the summer months in Texas, with little rain to provide relief.

While Tropical Storm Harold brought some relief along the Texas coast, according to the Texas State Climatologist, much of the state saw temperatures above average — 4 to 8 degrees above normal and in the triple digits.

“Coastal Texas and the mountains of West Texas have been able to moderate temperatures due to recent rainfall, but most of the state has seen triple-digit weather with no relief expected in the near future,” said John Nielsen Gammon, state climatologist and state climatologist. Regents Fellow at Texas A&M University College of Earth Sciences Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Drought monitoring in the United States

the Texas drought monitoring mapproduced by National Center for Drought Mitigation At the University of Nebraska, it showed an increase in drought conditions over the past three months and the previous year overall. The Drought Severity and Coverage Index, DSCI, ranges from 0-500 and calculates cumulative drought data for an area, where 0 means that none of the area is abnormally dry or in drought, and 500 indicates that the entire area is exceptionally dry.

Nielsen-Gammon said current drought conditions are very similar to the summer of 2022.

Related:PIE producers tour South Texas farms and are aware of the water problems

“The only difference between the drought in 2022 and 2023 is that the 2022 drought ended when the rains started in the second week of August,” Nielsen Gammon said.

To illustrate his comparisons, the most recent CPI calculated on August 29 was 281 compared to the CPI of 251 at the same time last year.

future weather forecast

on August 31, Climate Prediction Centre It released a seasonal drought forecast for the United States, showing how the drought will continue from September 1 to November. 30.

During a typical year, September and October are relatively humid months for Texas; However, since the rains have been sporadic, September is expected to be lacking in precipitation. The remaining three months of this year have chances of precipitation moving towards the west side of Texas as El Niño progresses.

El Niño occurs when warmer-than-average temperatures in the tropical Pacific region affect weather patterns around the world. This results in a cooler, wetter Texas winter from late fall to mid-spring.

“El Niño conditions are present in the tropics and are expected to continue into the winter,” Nielsen Gammon said.

Although El Niño usually produces cooler, wetter winters, this year’s winter temperature forecast is normal because El Niño competes with climate change, and there are no clouds of cold air ready to descend from the northern frontier.

Related:Scorching temperatures are negatively impacting the cotton industry

“Normally El Niño events do not lead to extreme cold outbreaks because the northern frontier tends to be much warmer during this period,” Nielsen Gammon said. “There is not much rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future. We hope to see heavy rains as El Niño approaches.

AgriLife Extension area reporters have compiled the following summaries:


The area witnessed some scattered rain over the past week. Unfortunately, that was not enough to break through the hot and dry conditions. And the temperatures were a little lower. Irrigated crops were losing water availability and collapsing. No crops or dryland fields were productive in some counties. Despite a fair first cutting of the hay, there was not enough production to last long. The grasslands were brown, and the levels of stock tanks were extremely low. Farmers complained about the lack of storage elevators to handle this year’s large corn crop. In some cases, maize was stored in handbags or sprouted on the ground. Another problem is the occurrence of feral pigs destroying these bags to get to the grain of corn. In some areas, field preparations for planting winter grains were completed in the fall, but the soil was too hot and dry to plant them. The trees were showing severe drought stress. Unirrigated vegetable gardens burned in the heat. Livestock has been greatly supplemented due to the lack of grazing. More cattle were expected to go to market as producers liquidated their herds.

Related:Coastal Bend sorghum crop ‘absolutely perfect’

rolling plains

Extreme heat conditions and a dry spell persisted across the region. Cattle producers were being fed hay due to the depletion of pasture forage. Wildfires posed a major threat with the severity of the drought and the abundance of dry grass. The cotton fields were suffering and the flowers were falling. Most of the wheat farmers planned to delay planting until the area received enough rain.

costal curvature

The region witnessed hot and dry weather with continued drought. Historically high temperatures were recorded this summer. Much of the field work begins with pinching and destroying the cotton stalk. The cotton harvest was almost complete. The first rice harvest was about to end, and some rice producers were irrigating the rattan crop. Rice seed fields were baled for replacement straw. Hay producers continued to hope for rain for one last chance at cutting. Pastures were deteriorating rapidly, and hay was very scarce. Livestock producers continued to cull their herds, trying to keep their most productive cattle. Many calves were brought to the market, especially with good prices.


Some counties received much-needed rain. Some areas received up to two inches, while others received little or nothing. More rain was needed to make a difference. Shelby County reported several fires involving several fire departments and Texas A&M Forest Service It responded with planes, helicopters and bulldozers to contain them. Hay production remained at a standstill. The condition of the cattle ranged from medium to good, with some nutritional supplements. The livestock market remained strong, although with higher numbers than usual, due to continued executions.


The area was hot and dry, with temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees. Some scattered rain brought trace amounts of moisture. Some silage was cut, especially fields that had already been harvested for feed. All crops were under severe heat stress. Producers began planting irrigated wheat for fall pastures. Field preparations continued before planting wheat by spraying and plowing. Sorghum has spread in most fields. Most pastures have an abundance of weeds.


Temperatures were in the mid-nineties last week. The calming operation was urgently needed, with some scattered rain falling across the area. Counties across the region received just over an inch of rain. Some counties remained dry. Corn, sorghum and soybeans were harvested with corn and sorghum harvest approaching in some counties. Soybeans were turned into hay due to the lack of hay production. The condition of the beans has deteriorated significantly with the rise in temperatures in recent weeks. Grasshopper numbers were high and the infestation caused plants to defoliate. The numbers of selling cattle were increasing at the sale barn. Ranchers have reduced herd size due to lack of feed and/or hay. Livestock conditions were good and continued to improve.

Far west

Temperatures were in the lower 90s to upper 80s, with nighttime temperatures in the lower 60s. No large participation was reported, but some areas received small amounts of rain. Heavy rain and flash flooding were reported in an isolated area at the southeast end of the region that received 4 inches of rain. The rest of the region was in desperate need of rain to improve soil moisture and pasture conditions. The general condition of the cotton crop deteriorated rapidly. The cotton balls were too immature or opened prematurely due to extreme heat over the past few weeks. Plants continued to shed squares and bolls to balance the crop load. Harvest will be four to six weeks early in many situations. The corn and sorghum were fully harvested. The pecan orchards looked to be in good shape, some of the trees were not yet filling out as much as others, primarily due to the amount of irrigation, but the yields should be good. Pastures improved slightly in areas that received rainfall. The livestock were in poor to fair condition. Area beef cattle producers were preparing for the start of the fall weaning/shipping season.


Triple-digit temperatures continued with no rain in the forecast. A few farmers have begun cutting and bagging fields of Bermuda grass. My yard and landscape trees are starting to show drought stress. Some producers were able to get some respite from the sporadic rains, preparing the field for planting oats and wheat in the fall. The cotton was maturing quickly with minimal bolls on the plants. The water levels of reservoirs and lakes continued to fall to critical levels. Cattle are supported by hay and supplementary feed. The number of livestock in sales pens increased as producers continued to cull their herds.


Conditions remained dry, and the burning ban was still in effect in many counties in the region. No significant amounts of precipitation were reported, and crops, landscaping and trees continued to be affected by heat stress. Dry conditions continued to drive cattle to markets, but prices remained stable despite the high number of cattle. Ranchers continued to feed their herds with hay, which became difficult to find. Corn yields yielded 150-180 bushels per acre, and sorghum yielded 5,000 pounds per acre in some counties. Pasture grasses were scarce, and pond levels dropped dramatically.


Severe drought continued in most parts of the region, but rain fell in a few districts. More rain will be needed to bring pastures and pastures around. Bastrop County reported 0.3 inch of rain. Cool morning temperatures brought temporary relief from the heat, however, high temperatures continue to put pressure on producers. Livestock producers continued to cull their herds due to drought conditions. The cotton was in terrible condition. The pastures remained very dry. The fall shipping process was underway and the cattle were in mostly good condition. The pastures had responded well to the recent rains but were in need of more. Cattle were also responding to the green conditions. A burn ban was imposed as the risk of bushfires remained high. Livestock markets appeared strong. Supplementary feeding of livestock continued.


The conditions were hot and dry. The pastures suffered from lack of rain. Producers continued to cull their herds of cattle. The volume of livestock sales increased in many markets, and prices remained stable. Producers continued to operate pivots in peanut and cotton fields. The grass fields were showing stress due to the hot conditions. Hay producers in irrigated fields continued the cutting and baling process. Hay prices were rising, and many producers were collecting leftover sorghum grains to fill the void and help ranchers keep their livestock. Ranchers and deer farmers continued supplementary feeding of the animals they had left behind. Wildlife activity was abundant around the water sources. White dove and mourning dove numbers were high just in time for the start of the special white wing season.

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, AgriLife Today, Randy Williams

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