With a week left in April, total precipitation since Sept. 1 at the Gilmer airport was 16.18 inches. This is roughly half of the 52-year average for September through April, which is 32.62 inches.
All of 2010 saw only 33.28 inches recorded at the airport station. Yearly average is just over 46 inches.
High winds and above-average temperatures in recent days have increased the drying of gardens, pastures and yards.
A slight chance of rain was predicted for Monday through Wednesday, with the strongest likelihood a 40 percent possibility of showers or thunderstorms Tuesday night, according to the weather service.
A narrow band of counties along the northern border of Texas, from Texarkana west to near Wichita Falls, was in the slightly lower category of “drought ongoing with some improvement.”
The statewide drought, high temperatures, and fierce winds have created ideal conditions for wildfires to ignite and spread throughout Texas.
Fires have burned more than a million acres in the state in the past week alone, including several massive blazes around Possum Kingdom Lake and elsewhere in West Texas, according to the Associated Press.
Upshur County, so far, has largely been spared the fire outbreak, according to Fire Marshal Paul Steelman. High temperature for the month to date was 91 degrees Tuesday, with a low of 74 that night. A cool front held the mercury down to 82 Wednesday wih a low of 61 that night.
Most of April’s 1.61 inches of rain fell in an April 4 thunderstorm. Most April days have seen winds of 17 mph or higher, with a peak of 44 mph recorded on April 14.