Drought Update

March 16th, 2013 at 10:30 pm by under Weather

From the NWS:


DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
427 AM CDT SAT MAR 16 2013

...NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL
TEXAS OVER THE PAST WEEK...

SYNOPSIS...

THE FIRST WIDESPREAD AND SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL SINCE EARLY JANUARY
WAS OBSERVED ON MARCH 9TH-10TH. RAINFALL AMOUNTS AVERAGED ONE
THIRD TO ONE INCH WITH A FEW LOCATIONS RECEIVING NEARLY TWO
INCHES. MOST OF THE RIO GRANDE PLAINS MISSED OUT ONCE AGAIN ON THE
RAINFALL. THE RAINFALL WAS BADLY NEEDED...BUT TOTALS FOR THE MONTH
ARE STILL SLIGHTLY BELOW THE AVERAGE TO DATE AND FOR THE YEAR. THE
CURRENT LONGER RANGE OUTLOOKS FOR THE NEXT 8 TO 14 DAYS ARE
SHOWING STRONGER TRENDS TOWARDS BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATES AND
STRONGER TRENDS FOR BELOW AVERAGE RAINFALL. SHORT TERM DROUGHT
IMPACTS ARE INCREASING ACROSS THE REGION WITH WARMER WEATHER
RETURNING. LONG TERM IMPACTS ALSO CONTINUE AS LAKES AND RESERVOIRS
REMAIN WELL BELOW NORMAL POOL LEVELS. ANY SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL
EVENTS WILL HELP THE SHORT TERM IMPACTS AS WELL AS THE LONGER TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) IS FORECASTING AN ENSO
(EL NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION) NEUTRAL PATTERN INTO SUMMER. EVEN
THOUGH LA NINA AND EL NINO EVENTS HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ACROSS
THE REGION...OTHER CIRCULATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE HELP DRIVE
WEATHER PATTERNS TOO...SO WE SHOULD NOT JUST BE LOOKING AT ONE
PATTERN...BUT OTHERS AS WELL TO POTENTIALLY PROVIDE RAINFALL TO
THE REGION.

THE US DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM) VALID MARCH 12TH AND ISSUED ON MARCH
14TH INDICATED DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE REMAINED VIRTUALLY
UNCHANGED ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS. SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS IS
CURRENTLY IN ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4)
STATUS. MOST LOCATIONS ARE NOW REPORTING MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO
SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) STATUS. THE NORTHERN RIO GRANDE PLAINS AND
WESTERN SECTIONS OF THE HILL COUNTRY REMAIN IN EXTREME (D3) TO
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4) STATUS.
tx_dm

CURRENTLY 55 PERCENT OF THE STATE IS IN MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4). SIX PERCENT OF THE STATE REMAINS IN
EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT STATUS.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER WAS HIGH TO VERY HIGH. GUSTY WINDS AHEAD OF AND BEHIND
STRONGER FRONTS WILL ONLY ADD TO THE HIGH FIRE THREAT. IF WETTING
RAINFALL IS SEEN...THEN THESE CONDITIONS WILL SHOW AT LEAST SLIGHT
IMPROVEMENT.

AS OF MARCH 15TH...BURN BANS WERE IN EFFECT FOR 20 COUNTIES IN
SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS. THE COUNTIES WITH ESTABLISHED OUTDOOR BURN
BANS INCLUDE BEXAR...BLANCO...CALDWELL...DIMMIT...EDWARDS...
FRIO...GUADALUPE...HAYS...KARNES...KENDALL...KERR...KINNEY...
LLANO...MAVERICK...MEDINA...TRAVIS...UVALDE...VAL VERDE...
WILLIAMSON AND WILSON COUNTIES.

CURRENTLY ATASCOSA...BANDERA...BASTROP...BURNET...COMAL...
DEWITT...FAYETTE...GILLESPIE...GONZALES...LAVACA...LEE...REAL...
AND ZAVALA 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 MARCH 15TH COUNTY KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI) SHOWED
KBDI VALUES OF 300 TO 600 ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE REGION
AND 500 TO 700 ACROSS THE WESTERN HALF OF THE REGION.

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 INDICATED THE REGION REMAINED DRY WITH LITTLE TO NO
RAIN RECEIVED. THE DROUGHT PERSISTED. LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS
CONTINUED PROVIDING SUPPLEMENTAL FEED FOR LIVESTOCK.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

MARCH TO DATE HAS BEEN DRIER THAN AVERAGE AND TEMPERATURES HAVE
REMAINED NEAR OR SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE TO DATE. THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS ARE EXPECTED TO SEE NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM
TEMPERATURES. A COUPLE OF COLD FRONTS MAY BRING LIGHT RAINFALL
DURING THE NEXT WEEK TO 10 DAYS.

PRECIPITATION FROM JANUARY 1, 2013 TO MIDNIGHT MARCH 15, 2013 AND
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL:

                    2013       NORMAL     DEPARTURE     PERCENT
                  RAINFALL    TO DATE    FROM NORMAL   OF NORMAL

AUSTIN MABRY        4.29        5.58       -1.29          77%
AUSTIN BERGSTROM    4.41        5.86       -1.45          75%
SAN ANTONIO         3.69        4.68       -0.99          79%
DEL RIO             1.33        2.17       -0.84          61%

FOR MARCH TO DATE...DEL RIO HAS RECEIVED A TRACE OF RAIN. THIS IS
0.57 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL OF 0.57 OF AN INCH. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE TO DATE FOR MARCH IS 62.4 DEGREES. THIS IS 0.4 OF A
DEGREE ABOVE THE NORMAL OF 62.0 DEGREES.

FOR MARCH TO DATE...SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS
RECEIVED 0.76 OF AN INCH. THIS IS 0.37 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL
OF 1.13 INCHES. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT THE SAN ANTONIO
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO DATE FOR MARCH IS 58.5 DEGREES. THIS IS
1.8 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 60.3 DEGREES.

FOR MARCH TO DATE...AUSTIN MABRY HAS RECEIVED 1.03 INCHES OF
RAIN. THIS IS 0.31 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL OF 1.34 INCHES.
THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT AUSTIN MABRY TO DATE FOR MARCH IS 59.4
DEGREES. THIS IS 0.2 OF A DEGREE BELOW THE NORMAL OF 59.6 DEGREES.

FOR MARCH TO DATE...AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS
RECEIVED 1.06 INCHES OF RAIN. THIS IS 0.20 OF AN INCH BELOW THE NORMAL
OF 1.26 INCHES. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT THE AUSTIN BERGSTROM
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO DATE FOR MARCH IS 55.5 DEGREES. THIS IS
1.4 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 56.9 DEGREES.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

NO SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS EXPECTED FOR SEVERAL DAYS.
TEMPERATURES OVERALL WILL BE NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL. IN THE
7 TO 10 DAY PERIOD COLDER WEATHER WILL LIKELY RETURN WITH ONLY
MINIMAL RAINFALL EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.

THE LATEST CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK
ISSUED MARCH 15TH AND VALID MARCH 23 THROUGH MARCH 29 2013 WAS
INDICATING STRONGER SIGNALS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
STRONGER SIGNALS FOR BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION.
814prcp_new 814temp_new
THE LONGER RANGE OUTLOOK FOR APRIL 2013 THROUGH JUNE 2013...
CREATED ON FEBRUARY 21ST WAS INDICATING STRONGER TRENDS FOR ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND STRONGER SIGNALS FOR BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION. THESE OUTLOOKS WILL BE UPDATED AGAIN ON MARCH 21
2013.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

MARCH HAS SEEN ONE RAINFALL EVENT WHICH HELPED TO PUSH MONTHLY
RAINFALL TOTALS TO NEAR AVERAGE VALUES. TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN
SLIGHTLY COOLER THAN AVERAGE TO NEAR AVERAGE OVER THE RIO GRANDE
PLAINS. LAKE LEVELS ARE REMAINING NEARLY STEADY OR FALLING.
WITH TEMPERATURES BEGINNING TO THE EVAPORATION RATES WILL INCREASE.

THE MAIN DROUGHT CONCERNS ARE CURRENTLY SHORT AND LONG TERM
HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.

THE 7 DAY STREAM FLOW AVERAGES WERE MUCH BELOW NORMAL
(LESS THAN 10 PERCENT) ACROSS THE COLORADO...GUADALUPE...NUECES
AND FRIO RIVER BASINS. THE RIO GRANDE BASIN REPORTED BELOW NORMAL
(10 TO 24 PERCENT) FLOWS. THE SAN ANTONIO BASIN REPORTED NORMAL
(25 TO 75 PERCENT) FLOWS.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF MARCH 15TH...

AREA LAKES...RIVERS AND RESERVOIRS REMAIN BELOW NORMAL POOL
ELEVATIONS.

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

                NORMAL POOL    LATEST ELEVATION    DIFFERENCE
                    (FT)             (FT)             (FT)
LAKE AMISTAD       1117             1065.8           -51.2
MEDINA LAKE        1064.2            986.7           -77.5
CANYON LAKE         909              899.8            -9.2
LAKE GEORGETOWN     791              778.2           -12.8
LAKE BUCHANAN      1020              991.6           -28.4
LAKE TRAVIS         681              630.7           -50.3

MEDINA LAKE CONTINUES TO FALL AND WAS AT 7.2 PERCENT OF CAPACITY
AS OF MARCH 15, 2013.

RESTRICTIONS...

THE SAN ANTONIO WATER SYSTEM (SAWS) IS CURRENTLY IN STAGE 2 WATER
RESTRICTIONS. THERE IS CURRENTLY TALK THAT STAGE 3 MAY HAVE TO BE
IMPLEMENTED BY EARLY MAY IF THE DRY CONDITIONS CONTINUE. 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 649.3 FEET AS OF MARCH 15TH. THIS
WAS 19.9 FEET BELOW THE HISTORICAL MONTHLY AVERAGE FOR MARCH WHICH
IS 669.2 FEET. THE AQUIFER LEVEL IS 13.6 FEET BELOW THE LEVEL
OBSERVED ON THIS DATE IN MARCH 2012.

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

THE BARTON SPRINGS EDWARDS AQUIFER CONSERVATION DISTRICT REMAINS
IN STAGE 2 ALARM DROUGHT STATUS. IF SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS NOT
SEEN IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS...STAGE 3 ALARM DROUGHT STATUS MAY BE
REQUIRED IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

UVALDE IS CURRENTLY IN STAGE 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS. AUSTIN IS
CURRENTLY IN STAGE 2 WATER RESTRICTIONS. SAN MARCOS AND KERRVILLE
ARE 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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