Drought creeps back after hot, dry May

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, June 2, 2018

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With the scorching heat and lack of rain to end May, drought crept back into Wise County, and one city has already banned fireworks for the Fourth of July.

More heat is on the way with triple digits in the forecast for Saturday in the county.

Only 2.2 inches of rain was measured in Decatur by longtime observer Doyle Green. The precipitation was 3.33 inches below normal for May, which is historically the wettest month of the year in the county with an average rainfall of 5.53 inches. The last day with precipitation was May 21 with 0.24 inches falling.

Temperatures have also been on the rise with highs in the mid to upper 90s since May 27. The average high temperature in May was 88.

According to records from National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, this May was the second warmest on record with an average temperature of 79 – 5 degrees above normal.

There is expected to be a little relief from the heat Sunday after a front passes through the area, dropping highs to 90. There is a slight chance for rain Monday and Tuesday.

In the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday, most of the county fell in moderate drought. The rest was categorized as abnormally dry.

The city of New Fairview issued a press release this week stating fireworks can no longer be sold or used in the town.

The decision was made due to dry conditions this month and drier-than-normal weather expected in June and July. “Legal liabilities have increased each year due to injuries, safety, public disturbances and property damage in the DFW area. Too many people drive to New Fairview from area cities to shoot their fireworks, increasing dangers. Tickets will be issued,” the city said in a statement sent to the Messenger.

Wise County Commissioners plan to discuss fireworks at their June 11 meeting.

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