2021 has been a rather wet year for East Texas.  A lot of precipitation during the Winter and Spring months has kept a good portion of the Pineywoods above the norms when it comes to accumulated rainfall for the first nine months of the year.  For instance, the Angelina County Airport has received nearly 40 inches of rain since the start of the year.  That's about four inches above what we usually have received by September 23.

However, this month and a good portion of August have been dry.  So far in September, only half an inch of rain has been recorded at the airport's rain gauge.  Other areas of East Texas have gotten less.  Add the extremely high temperatures of a late Summer and you get a lot of dry conditions in the area.  I've noticed that several of the area Forest Service stations have raised their fire danger monitor from low to moderate.

Several counties in the eastern third of Texas have enacted burn bans. Houston County instituted a burn ban as of September 22.  Other nearby counties that also have burn bans include Henderson, Madison, Walker, Grimes and Robertson.  Other counties in the Deep East Texas region, including Angelina and Nacogdoches,  DO NOT have a burn ban at this time, but I've heard that several county judges in the Pineywoods were going to strongly consider that option if we don't get some significant rainfall soon.

A recent cold front has brought beautiful, Fall-like weather to the region.  We should stay rain free through at least this upcoming weekend.  However, forecasters are predicting that a storm system could dump up to an inch of rain across Deep East Texas by mid-week next week.  We could sure use it.

We have some beautiful parks in our area, here's a look at some of the highest rated parks in the US.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.