As the month of June came to a close yesterday, we ended yet another month with below average rainfall. This unfortunately means worsening drought conditions. 

Senior Meteorologist Ron McQueen explains, “so in general, our precipitation has been on the low side through the Spring and into the first part of the Summer across the South Plains. It’s especially low to the western South Plains towards the New Mexico border and into New Mexico as well where very little rain fell during the normal growing season [..] So, what that means is that the grasses and smaller shrubs have dried out quite a bit. On top of that, now we’ve entered a period of hot weather, and [..] so that’s increasing the fire hazard in a number of ways across our area.”

And with a holiday that is centered around good food and fireworks this Saturday, it’s highly important that you are extremely careful when celebrating.

“Well, I can’t recommend or not recommend fireworks myself. But certainly people should go by what the local officials are saying regarding the fireworks rules for your area. If it’s allowed in your area then go for it, and if it’s not then of course you should abide by those rules. Either way, if you decide to set them off or not, you need to be prepared in case one of them were to start a fire be ready to move quickly to get that fire put out,” say McQueen.

Thankfully there is some precipitation within good news in the form of some relief for us across the South Plains the next few days leading up the 4th, but don’t let your guard down.

McQueen also says, “And behind that system, we’re going to have a rebuilding upper level high pressure ridge later in the week that will bring lighter wind flow. It will also bring increasing moisture levels as well as increasing chances for showers and thunderstorms by around Thursday and heading into the weekend […]  If there are thunderstorms nearby, this time of year, they can easily cause strong winds. And any fire starts that is caused by fireworks can spread pretty easily through the dry grasses in the area. So just be sure to enjoy and have a lot of fun, but pay attention to what the local officials are saying for the fire hazards and the firework rules in your area.”