Cooler temperatures and scattered rains have come to some parts of the country. But not to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and the rest of the south and southwestern states. They remain in the grips of an unprecedented drought and accompanying heat wave.
October of last year to July of this year was the driest 10-month period on record in Texas. The previous record was June 1917 to March 1918. But this drought is far from over. Indeed, weather forecasters don’t see any relief in sight.
The calendar will soon turn to September, normally a time of changing weather. Not in Texas. Weather forecast models show triple-digit temperatures for the next 10 days for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dallas-Fort Worth has already seen 2011 record 58 triple-digit days, leaving the area just 11 days shy of the record 69 set in 1980. Dallas has also seen 14 days this month in which a record for the warmest low has been set or tied.
Drought conditions are threatening fall wheat planting and expectations for the 2012 crop. If drought continues into the planting months of September and October, next year’s wheat harvest may see a second year of decline, and prices could reach $13 per bushel, says Doane Advisory Service analyst Dan Manternach.
“For hard, red winter wheat in particular, we’re already down to very tight stocks because of this year’s drought,” Manternach said. “A second year in a row of poor yields in the southern Plains would be cause for extreme price-rationing.”
View the National Drought Monitor.