Lubbock approaches record for triple-digit days

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - There was some rain in the KCBD NewsChannel11 viewing area overnight, all to the west and north of Lubbock. Here are the rain gauge reports from the Texas Tech Mesonet:

  • Friona .16"
  • Dimmitt .19"
  • Tulia .14"
  • Hart .37"

Other reports include Farwell with .71" and, in the Panhandle, Hereford with .74".

As for Lubbock, not even a trace.  Lubbock's official precipitation for the year-to-date is just 1.10". That is only 13 percent of the average January through June precipitation of 8.55". This is, by far, the driest first half of any year on record here.

Looking at temperatures, the high yesterday at the Lubbock airport was 107 degrees – seven degrees shy of the city's all-time record high – and the 19th 100-degree-day this year. 2011's ranking moves to seventh in the record book, sharing the "honor" of 19 100-degree-days with the year 1969.

It looks like we will easily top 2006's 22 days, also recorded in 1940, 1936 and 1930. Temperature records for Lubbock go back to 1914.

Monday was the fifth consecutive 100-Degree-Day in this stretch. The most consecutive days with a maximum temperature of 100 or greater is 12, ending on July 4, 1980.

While the heat contributes to drought intensification, the drought contributes to well above average heat. Abundant soil moisture - and lush vegetation - retard daytime heating. Our area, of course, has very little soil moisture content and vegetative fuels are critically dry. In contrast to this year, the first half of last year was very wet. In 2010, Lubbock recorded only two 100-degree-days.

Burn bans are in effect and the day-to-day wildfire danger will be high to extreme. Some areas, including Lubbock County, have banned all fireworks for this Fourth of July.

The forecast for Tuesday includes another 100-degree-day, and more "100 days" are likely this week.

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