Rain, cooler temps on the way for Cooke Co.

Sep. 9—Cooke County could get some badly needed rain and a break from triple-digits temperatures next week.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms could pop up this weekend; however, daily rain chances in excess of 50 percent are forecast starting Monday, along with much cooler daytime temperatures averaging in the low-tomid 80s, according to the National Weather Service's Fort Worth office.

Cooke County is into its second month of an outdoor burn ban. The heat wave and lack of rain have dried out the local soil and grasses, creating prime conditions for field fires. Daily rain and a 20-degree cool-off could improve soil moisture levels by lowering the rate of evaporation. The Cooke County Commissioners Court will review the burn ban Monday, but it is not expected to lift it in the near term.

The lower temperatures should also relieve pressure on the state's power grid. ERCOT has repeatedly issued conservation alerts this week to avoid the possibility of electrical service interruptions, as the system has strained to keep up with temperatures well over 100 degrees across Texas. Drought conditions While tropical storm Harold brought some relief along the coast of Texas, the rest of the state continues to broil, according to a Texas A& M professor.

"The coast of Texas and the West Texas mountains were able to find temperature relief from recent rainfall, but most of the state has experienced triple degree weather with no relief expected in the near future," said John Nielsen- Gammon, Ph.D., state climatologist and Regents Fellow in the Texas A& M College of Geosciences Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

The Texas drought monitor map, produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, shows increased drought conditions during the last three months and the previous year overall.

Nielsen-Gammon said drought conditions are very similar to last year.

"The only difference between the 2022 and 2023 droughts is that the 2022 drought ended when rainfall started the second week of August," Nielsen-Gammon said.

Randi Williams of Texas A& M AgriLife contributed to this report.