Rain may be in the rearview mirror for a while.
The few scattered thunderstorms that popped up around North Texas on Monday afternoon were among the last in the forecast for the week, as daytime temperatures begin their expected rise and lake levels continue their troubling fall.
Amanda Schroeder, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Denton County could see a thunderstorm or two Wednesday afternoon if a front dips beyond the Red River.
“After that, it’s hot and dry,” Schroeder said.
Meteorologists expect daytime highs to approach triple digits by the end of the week as a high pressure dome forms over the region, she said.
Although it eased briefly late last year, the drought has returned to extreme conditions in Denton County. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows most North Texas counties north of Interstate 30 and west of Bonham and Greenville in either extreme or exceptional drought.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry renewed a proclamation Thursday extending the drought emergency first declared July 5, 2011.
This year could be the fifth consecutive year of below-average precipitation for Denton County. The area normally sees about 38.09 inches of precipitation each year, according to the National Weather Service. Residents haven’t seen that much fall here since 2009.
Denton County is about 7 inches behind this year. Typically, July and August aren’t rainmaking months. Those come in September and October.
Already low this spring, levels at Ray Roberts, Lewisville and Grapevine lakes drop a little each day. All three are about 10 feet below the conservation level.
Water officials may call for stricter conservation measures soon. Denton already restricts outdoor watering to the hours between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
To get advice on how to better conserve water at home, residents may call the city water department for a free water audit. A new auditor is expected to be hired shortly, according to Haley Salazar, of Denton water utilities.
Salazar posted a self-audit checklist on the city’s website, www.cityofdenton.com.
Or residents may call her at 940-349-7151 to schedule an audit.
The Upper Trinity Regional Water District, the wholesale supplier for many water services elsewhere in the county, will be offering water audits soon, officials have said.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.