After rare rain-free July, August begins hot & dry

AUSTIN (KXAN) — No rain fell in Austin Friday, making it a rare rain-free month. Since 1891, there has been no measurable rain in July only five times. Only a trace of rain fell in July at Camp Mabry, a sudden and dramatic reversal from the historic 26 inches that fell in May and June. In this history books, a trace amount or no rain has only fallen in only 29 months since 1891.

Some scattered showers did develop Friday, followed by a cluster of strong thunderstorms in Mason and Gillespie County Friday night.1-2 inches of rain fell in a few locations, mainly over eastern Mason County. A weak boundary helped trigger the rain, but it is forecast to dissipate early Saturday, leaving behind a hot, dry weekend. The good news is that this boundary will help keep the “feels like” temperatures closer to actual air temperatures, with a touch less humidity in the air.

The high temperature climbed to 102 degrees in Austin Friday, the hottest of the summer. The heat index reached a stifling 110 degrees Friday afternoon. It was the fifth consecutive day of 100 degree heat at Camp Mabry. The high at ABIA hit 101 degrees Friday. Temperatures may moderate a degree or two in some areas Saturday, but could easily reach 100 degrees again for each of the next seven days, and possibly into mid-August. There is little chance of rain for the next week or more.

Heat Safety Tips:

  • Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • If outdoors during the hottest hours of the day, drink plenty water.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks from the sun/heat in shady areas, or indoors.
  • If in the sun apply broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with at least 30 SPF

Also keep in mind that temperatures in an enclosed vehicle in the bright sunshine can reach deadly levels in a very short period of time. Always check the backseat of the car when exiting, even if you’re just running a quick errand, and never under any circumstances leave a child or pet in an unattended vehicle.

Though there is little relief from the hot and dry weather in the near term, the Climate Prediction Center’s new outlooks for the coming fall season indicate cooler and wetter than normal weather is likely. And, it’s not just the autumn season either. Every monthly outlook through the spring of 2016 is forecast to be wetter and cooler than average.

Warmer than normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, or an El Niño, are forecast to persist through the fall and winter, possibly longer. This pattern usually results in more frequent storm systems across much of the southern U.S., typically bringing Texas wet and cool fall and winter seasons.

Make sure to download the popular, free KXAN Weather App on your smartphone to stay on top changing weather conditions.

Every family, school, and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio. KXAN is partnering with Austin area H-E-B and Academy stores to make the radios available for a discounted price. Click here for more information.

Click here to read a thorough analysis of the historic Memorial Day weekend floods and tornado outbreak.

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