A countywide outdoor burn ban, last extended by the commissioners court on May 14, was rescinded last week by Judge George Briant, whose order took effect at 12 noon on Friday, June 1. The burn ban has been in effect since December 2017. Heavy rainfall throughout the area around mid-May precipitated Briant’s decision.
Drought conditions—while still a concern—have diminished in severity in most of Hemphill County, and in neighboring counties. The latest report from the Texas Water Development Board shows drought conditions ranging from severe to extreme in this county and in most of the Panhandle, with a diminished area of exceptional drought still in counties to the southwest.
This week’s forecast could change all of that, though.
Temperatures at midweek have reached triple-digits, and are expected to persist in the 100-degree range throughout the week, dropping slightly to the high-90s this weekend. Wind speeds ranging from 10-20 mph, gusting up to 25, will compound the heat’s drying impact.
Amarillo’s National Weather Service is forecasting a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday, and again on Friday night, offering a hint of relief, if Mother Nature is listening.