Drought Update

October 4th, 2012 at 4:02 pm by under Weather

Last week’s good rainfall helped our drought situation. Improving moderate drought to abnormally dry conditions here in Travis county.

 

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
110 PM CDT THU OCT 4 2012

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS IMPROVE FOLLOWING RECENT RAINFALL...

SYNOPSIS...

AFTER A VERY DRY AND WARM START TO SEPTEMBER THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF
SEPTEMBER SAW TWO SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL EVENTS. BOTH THESE EVENTS
PRODUCED WIDESPREAD RAINFALL ACROSS THE REGION. RAINFALL FOR THE
MONTH RANGED FROM 2 INCHES TO OVER 10 INCHES. THIS RAINFALL WAS
WELCOMED AND HAS PROVIDED A GREAT IMPROVEMENT TO THE SHORT TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS. THESE EVENTS ACTUALLY PRODUCED SOME RUNOFF SO
RIVERS...CREEKS AND STREAMS ACTUALLY HAD FLOWING WATER. MANY HAVE
BEEN DRY OR NEARLY DRY FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. AS WE CONTINUE TO SEE
RAINFALL EVENTS THE LONGER TERM DROUGHT IMPACTS LIKE RESERVOIR
LEVELS AND LAKE LEVELS WILL BEGIN TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT. LONGER
RANGE OUTLOOKS CONTINUE TO TREND TOWARDS GREATER CHANCES FOR ABOVE
NORMAL RAINFALL FOR LATE FALL AND INTO THE WINTER.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) IS CALLING FOR AN ENSO (EL
NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION) WEAK EL NINO. THE EL NINO PATTERN IS
FORECAST TO CONTINUE INTO THE FALL AND WINTER. WITH THE
DEVELOPING EL NINO PATTERN...WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO SEE A MORE
TYPICAL RAINFALL PATTERN GOING INTO EARLY FALL...THEN A SLIGHTLY
WETTER PATTERN FOR LATE FALL AND THROUGH WINTER.

THE US DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM) VALID OCTOBER 2ND AND ISSUED ON
OCTOBER 4TH INDICATED IMPROVEMENT TO THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS
MOST AREAS. THE REGION IS CURRENTLY IN ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) TO EXTREME
(D3) DROUGHT STATUS. MOST LOCATIONS ARE CURRENTLY REPORTING
ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) TO MODERATE DROUGHT (D2) STATUS. A PORTION OF
THE NORTHERN RIO GRANDE PLAINS REMAINS IN EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) STATUS.
IF WE CONTINUE TO SEE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AND COOLER TEMPERATURES
THEN FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS ARE LIKELY ACROSS THE REGION.

CURRENTLY 66 PERCENT OF THE STATE IS IN MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4). ONLY THREE PERCENT OF THE STATE REMAINS
IN EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT STATUS.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER IS CURRENTLY LOW TO MODERATE ACROSS THE REGION. AS OF
OCTOBER 3RD...BURN BANS WERE IN EFFECT FOR 13 COUNTIES IN SOUTH
CENTRAL TEXAS. THE COUNTIES WITH ESTABLISHED OUTDOOR BURN BANS
INCLUDE ATASCOSA...BEXAR...DIMMIT...EDWARDS...FRIO...KARNES...
KINNEY...MAVERICK...MEDINA...UVALDE...VAL VERDE...WILSON AND
ZAVALA COUNTIES.

CURRENTLY BANDERA...BASTROP...BLANCO...BURNET...CALDWELL...
COMAL...DEWITT...FAYETTE...GILLESPIE...GONZALES...GUADALUPE...
HAYS...KENDALL...KERR...LAVACA...LEE...LLANO...REAL...TRAVIS...
WILLIAMSON COUNTIES CURRENTLY HAVE NO BURN BANS IN PLACE.

RESIDENTS IN ALL COUNTIES SHOULD CONTACT THEIR LOCAL COUNTY
WEB SITE...JUDGE`S OFFICE OR FIRE MARSHALL BEFORE DECIDING TO
CONDUCT ANY TYPE OF OUTDOOR BURNING.

THE OCTOBER 4TH KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI) SHOWED KBDI VALUES
OF ZERO TO 200 IN BEXAR AND FRIO COUNTIES. DEWITT...EDWARDS AND
VAL VERDE COUNTIES HAD KBDI VALUES OF 500 TO 600. THE REMAINDER OF
THE AREA HAD KBDI VALUES OFF 200 TO 500.

THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE USES THE KBDI AS A MEANS FOR RELATING
CURRENT AND RECENT WEATHER CONDITIONS TO POTENTIAL OR EXPECTED
FIRE BEHAVIOR. THE KBDI IS A NUMERICAL INDEX CALCULATED DAILY
FOR EACH COUNTY. EACH NUMBER IS AN ESTIMATE OF THE AMOUNT OF
PRECIPITATION...IN HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH...NEEDED TO BRING THE
SOIL BACK TO SATURATION. THE INDEX RANGES FROM ZERO TO 800...WITH
ZERO REPRESENTING A SATURATED SOIL AND 800 A COMPLETELY DRY SOIL.
REMEMBER...THAT FIRE DANGER CAN CHANGE QUICKLY FROM ONE DAY TO
ANOTHER AS WINDS AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY VARY.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

THE TEXAS CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED BY TEXAS A AND M
AGRICULTURAL ON OCTOBER 2ND INDICATED...MUCH-NEEDED RAIN FELL
THROUGHOUT THE REGION...AND FALL TEMPERATURES REPLACED THE HOT
DAYS OF SUMMER. RANGELAND AND PASTURES BEGAN TO IMPROVE. SHEEP
AND GOATS GRAZED COOL-SEASON FORBS. CATTLE STILL NEEDED
SUPPLEMENTAL FEED AND HAY. FARMERS WERE PLANTING OATS AND RYE GRASS
FOR WINTER GRAZING. FALL CORN MADE GOOD PROGRESS. THE COTTON
HARVEST WAS NEARLY COMPLETE.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

AFTER A WET TWO WEEKS THE WEATHER PATTERN HAS TRANSITIONED TO A
DRIER AND COOLER PATTERN.

PRECIPITATION FROM JANUARY 1, 2012 TO MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 3, 2012 AND
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL:

                    2012      NORMAL     DEPARTURE     PERCENT
                  RAINFALL    TO DATE    FROM NORMAL   OF NORMAL

AUSTIN MABRY       31.71       25.39       +6.32         125%
AUSTIN BERGSTROM   33.46       23.29      +10.17         144%
SAN ANTONIO        36.85       24.32      +12.53         152%
DEL RIO            13.72       15.98       -2.27          86%

FOR OCTOBER TO DATE...DEL RIO HAS RECEIVED A TRACE OF RAIN. THIS
IS 0.28 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL OF 0.28 OF AN INCH. THE
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR OCTOBER TO DATE IS 76.0 DEGREES. THIS IS
0.3 OF A DEGREE ABOVE THE NORMAL OF 75.7 DEGREES.

FOR OCTOBER TO DATE...SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS
RECEIVED 0.49 OF AN INCH OF RAIN. THIS IS 0.14 OF AN INCH ABOVE
THE NORMAL OF 0.35 OF AN INCH. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT THE
SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR OCTOBER TO DATE IS 69.8
DEGREES. THIS IS 5.2 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 75.0 DEGREES.

FOR OCTOBER TO DATE...AUSTIN MABRY HAS RECEIVED NO RAIN. THIS
IS 0.31 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL OF 0.31 OF AN INCH. THE
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT AUSTIN MABRY FOR OCTOBER TO DATE IS
71.5 DEGREES. THIS IS 3.5 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 75.0
DEGREES.

FOR OCTOBER TO DATE...AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
HAS RECEIVED NO RAIN. THIS IS 0.29 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL OF
0.29 OF AN INCH. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR OCTOBER TO DATE AT THE
AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS 68.8 DEGREES. THIS IS
4.5 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 73.3 DEGREES.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THERE WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME LIGHT RAINFALL DURING THE NEXT
SEVERAL DAYS AS A STRONG COLD FRONT MOVES ACROSS THE AREA. AFTER THE
FRONT PASSES RAINFALL CHANCES WILL REMAIN LIMITED FOR THE NEXT WEEK.
TEMPERATURES WILL START OUT WARMER THAN NORMAL THEN FALL TO BELOW
NORMAL FOR A FEW DAYS THEN BACK TO NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE SEASONAL
AVERAGES FOR EARLY OCTOBER.

THE LATEST CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK
ISSUED OCTOBER 3RD AND VALID OCTOBER 11TH THROUGH OCTOBER 17TH IS
SHOWING STRONGER TRENDS TOWARDS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
GREATER TRENDS TOWARDS NEAR EQUAL CHANCES FOR NORMAL...BELOW
NORMAL OR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION...EXCEPT SLIGHTLY GREATER CHANCES
FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE NORTHERN RIO GRANDE PLAINS.

THE LONGER RANGE OUTLOOK FOR NOVEMBER 2012 THROUGH JANUARY 2013...
CREATED ON SEPTEMBER 20TH IS INDICATING TRENDS TOWARDS NEAR EQUAL
CHANCES FOR NORMAL...BELOW NORMAL OR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
STRONGER TRENDS FOR ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL. THESE OUTLOOKS WILL BE
UPDATED AGAIN ON OCTOBER 18TH.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

AFTER THE RECENT RAINFALL EVENTS LAKE AND RESERVOIR LEVELS HAVE
RISEN AT LEAST SLIGHTLY. WITH LESS EVAPORATION ANS THE POTENTIAL
FOR MORE RAINFALL DURING THE FALL AND WINTER WE WILL LIKELY SEE
SOME IMPROVEMENTS IN THE LEVELS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

THE MAIN DROUGHT CONCERNS ARE CURRENTLY LONG TERM HYDROLOGIC
IMPACTS.

THE 7 DAY STREAM FLOW AVERAGES WERE MUCH ABOVE NORMAL (GREATER
THAN 90 PERCENT) IN THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER BASIN. THE LOWER
COLORADO RIVER BASIN AND THE RIO GRANDE BASIN WERE REPORTING BELOW
NORMAL (10 TO 24 PERCENT) FLOWS. ALL OTHER BASINS WERE REPORTING
NORMAL FLOWS (25 TO 75 PERCENT).

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF OCTOBER 4TH...

AREA LAKES...RIVERS AND RESERVOIRS REMAIN BELOW NORMAL POOL
ELEVATIONS. LEVELS HAVE SHOWN SOME INCREASES DUE TO THE RECENT
RAINFALL EVENTS AND LOWER EVAPORATION RATES.

BELOW IS A LIST OF RESERVOIRS WITH THE LATEST ELEVATIONS AND
NORMAL POOLS.

                NORMAL POOL    LATEST ELEVATION    DIFFERENCE
                    (FT)             (FT)             (FT)
MEDINA LAKE        1064.2            999.9           -64.3
CANYON LAKE         909              901.9            -7.1
LAKE TRAVIS         681              634.8           -46.2
LAKE BUCHANAN      1020              993.6           -26.4
LAKE GEORGETOWN     791              775.2           -15.8
LAKE AMISTAD       1117             1084.8           -32.2

RESTRICTIONS...

THE SAN ANTONIO WATER SYSTEM (SAWS) IS CURRENTLY IN STAGE 2 WATER
RESTRICTIONS. ONCE A RESTRICTION IS IN PLACE...THAT RESTRICTION
WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR 30 DAYS NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE
AQUIFER LEVEL.

THE EDWARDS AQUIFER WAS READING 651.4 FEET AS OF OCTOBER 4TH. THIS
IS 12.9 FEET BELOW THE HISTORICAL MONTHLY AVERAGE FOR OCTOBER WHICH
IS 664.3 FEET. THE AQUIFER LEVEL IS 0.5 FEET ABOVE THE LEVEL
OBSERVED ON THIS DATE IN OCTOBER 2011.

MANY COMMUNITIES ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS CONTINUE TO HAVE
WATER RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE TO DUE LACK OF CONSISTENT RAINFALL
AND INCREASED USAGE. STRICTER RESTRICTIONS COULD BE IMPLEMENTED
AT ANY TIME IF THE DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS PERSIST.

THE BARTON SPRINGS REMAIN IN NO DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR AQUIFERS
WITHIN THE DISTRICT.

UVALDE IS CURRENTLY IN STAGE 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS. AUSTIN AND SAN
MARCOS ARE CURRENTLY IN STAGE 2 WATER RESTRICTIONS. KERRVILLE IS
CURRENTLY IN STAGE 1 WATER RESTRICTIONS. ALL CITIES CONTINUE TO
WARN RESIDENTS THAT STRICTER RESTRICTIONS COULD RETURN AT ANY TIME
IF DRIER CONDITIONS CONTINUE.

LOCATIONS THAT DO NOT CURRENTLY HAVE MANDATORY RESTRICTIONS
CONTINUE TO STRONGLY PROMOTE YEAR ROUND WATER CONSERVATION.


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