The old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb usually doesn't hold true in Henderson County, but for 2021 it's pretty accurate.
On the first day of the month thundershowers blew through the area, dropping 1.33 inches of rain in Athens. The high temperature of the day was 74 degrees, but a cold front stalled the high at 48 degrees on March 2. That was the last cold afternoon of the month. The low of 33 the following morning was the minimum temperature for the month.
The warmest day of the month was March 16, when the high reached 81 degrees. The averages for the month ranged from a low of 46 to a high of 70.
Sunshine prevailed for much of the month. March 3 through March 14 produced no precipitation. at all All told, there were only six days of rainfall during the month, accounting for 3.07 inches. That's almost an inch below the average of 4.04 inches.
Moving into April, NWS is predicting the warm weather to continue. April, can often produce severe storms and tornados in East Texas. The last severe tornado in Henderson County was in April of 2017. There have been nine measurable tornadoes in the county since NWS records have been kept, tying May for the lead.
Henderson County has had ample rain for the past few years and currently rates below 200 on the 800 point Keetch-Byram Drought Index. However, the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook shows most of the Western United States either experiencing a drought or likely to develop one in the period through June 30.
"Precipitation, temperature, and drought condition forecasts all suggest an expansion and intensification of drought conditions is likely over the next three months,” according to the March 30 Texas AgriLife Extension Service crop report.
Henderson County is included in an area where drought development is likely. The county is currently about three inches below normal for 2021.