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FORECAST: & FAMILIAR Hot dry

Records continue to fall in prolonged heat wave, drought of 2009
By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

Above, "Queen," the Labrador Retriever of Jay and Betty Brown, says this weather is for the dogs as she circles the family stock tank, which has dried up significantly during the prolonged drought. Above, "Queen," the Labrador Retriever of Jay and Betty Brown, says this weather is for the dogs as she circles the family stock tank, which has dried up significantly during the prolonged drought. Another month of this and Rockdale may not have any heat records remaining to be broken.

Two more readings of 107 were recorded during the past week on the U. S. Weather Service thermometer at KRXTFM.

That means, through Tuesday, Rockdale has logged no less than 14 highs of 105 or greater. That's right, not 100 degrees, 105 or more.

Tuesday's high of 105 marked the 29th day of 100-degree temperatures in the summer of 2009. The record is 59 in 1998.

But Tuesday was only July 14. Traditionally Rockdale's hottest time of the year is mid-July to late August.

The 14 highs of 105 or greater put this year in a position to surpass the record of 17 super heated (105 or higher) highs set in 2000.

That summer ended with the six highest temperatures ever logged in Rockdale between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6.

At left, Patrick Dean, son of Susan and Tiny Dean, photographed his cows who sought a little relief from the heat at the family's water sprinkler. Dean said the family was watering grass near the house when the cattle came in from a nearby pasture to try and cool off. At left, Patrick Dean, son of Susan and Tiny Dean, photographed his cows who sought a little relief from the heat at the family's water sprinkler. Dean said the family was watering grass near the house when the cattle came in from a nearby pasture to try and cool off. That week peaked with the town's all-time high of 113 on Sept. 5. There were also two 112s and three 110s.

In addition to the four readings of 108 in 2009, this spring and summer have also produced four 107s, three 106s and five 105s.

Rainfall

Heat is only half the equation and the other half doesn't look too good either.

Through Tuesday only 10.15 inches of precipitation had been recorded.

What's doubly scary is that if 2009 follows the pattern of 2008, we've already had the "wet" half of the year.

Last year's first six-month total of 10.42 inches is almost exactly the same as 2009's. And in 2008 it only rained 4.94 inches over the final six months.

The 2008 rainfall total of 15.09 inches is the second driest year in the 84-plus years weather records have been kept for Rockdale.

And what was the wettest day of 2009 to date?

What else? The 2.6 inches— almost one fourth the year-todate total—which fell April 18, mostly during the annual Dewberry Fun Run, wiping out the 1K children's run and cutting the 5K field to only 25.


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2009-07-16 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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