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Texas Bone DryAugust 28, 2000 — North Texas is on the verge of a record-breaking drought. Today marks the 59th consecutive day without rain at the official Dallas-Fort Worth rainfall measuring site.

The previous record of 58 consecutive days was set in 1934 ( May 25 - July 21) and repeated in 1950 (Nov. 4 - Dec. 31).

National Weather Service Forecast Office Meteorologist in Charge "Skip" Ely says, "The current dry pattern is due largely to a persistent area of high pressure that has dominated North Texas weather since the end of June. The pattern blocks the more normal moisture flows across the south."

The pattern is common when La Niña—the cooler than normal waters in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific—influences upper air patterns across the southern United States.

This is the third summer in a row with extended heat and drought conditions. There were 56 rainless days between July and the beginning of September 1999 and 1998 saw the driest April through September on record in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

National Weather Service Southern Regional Director Bill Proenza says the continuing drought will be devastating in Texas but is also impacting the southern United States. "While southern wildfires have not been as plentiful as those in the West, the drought conditions in this region are even more extreme. The heat and lack of rain has dramatically decreased soil moisture in the south. Agriculture across the southern United States is suffering," he said.

The National Weather Service's extended forecast for North Texas calls for continued clear skies and daily temperatures peaking around 100 degrees. No immediate relief is in sight.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Drought Information Center

NOAA's National Weather Service Forecast Office in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas

NOAA's National Weather Service Southern Region

NOAA's Fire Weather Information Center

Media Contact:
Curtis Carey, NOAA's National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622.