May Drought Update

May 23rd, 2013 at 2:53 pm by under Weather

Recent rain has had a positive influence on our drought situation. However, we still sit in the severe drought category and could use more wet weather in Central Texas. So far this May, we’re 1.64″ behind our normal rainfall total at Camp Mabry in Austin.

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
1230 PM CDT THU MAY 23 2013

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS IMPROVE SLIGHTLY ACROSS THE COASTAL PLAINS
AND CENTRAL PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

SYNOPSIS...

AFTER A WET AND COOL START TO MAY THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH HAS
TURNED HOT AND DRIER ACROSS MOST OF THE REGION. MAY IS NORMALLY
THE THIRD WETTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR AND MANY LOCATIONS WILL LIKELY
FALL SHORT. MAY HAS PRODUCED SEVERAL RAINFALL EVENTS...BUT MANY
LOCATIONS SAW LITTLE OR NO RAINFALL. SLIGHT SHORT TERM IMPROVEMENTS
HAVE BEEN NOTED WITH THE RAINFALL...BUT THE RECENT RETURN TO VERY
WARM TEMPERATURES HAS WIPED OUT MOST SHORT TERM IMPROVEMENTS.
RIVERS...LAKES AND RESERVOIRS REMAIN VERY LOW AND WILL CONTINUE
THAT WAY UNTIL A PROLONGED WET PERIOD DEVELOPS ACROSS THE REGION.
THE CURRENT LONGER RANGE OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 8 TO 14 IS SHOWING
STRONGER TRENDS FOR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND BELOW AVERAGE
RAINFALL.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) IS FORECASTING THE ENSO (EL
NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION) NEUTRAL PATTERN TO CONTINUE INTO THE
FALL. 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 MAY 21ST AND ISSUED ON MAY 23RD
INDICATED DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE IMPROVED SLIGHTLY ACROSS THE
CENTRAL AND EASTERN SECTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS. MOST OF SOUTH
CENTRAL TEXAS IS CURRENTLY IN MODERATE (D1) TO SEVERE (D2) DROUGHT
STATUS. THE NORTHERN RIO GRANDE PLAINS AND WESTERN SECTIONS OF THE
HILL COUNTRY REMAIN IN EXTREME (D3) TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4)
STATUS.

CURRENTLY 90 PERCENT OF THE STATE IS IN MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4). EIGHTEEN PERCENT OF THE STATE IS NOW IN
EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT STATUS.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER WAS MODERATE TO HIGH. GUSTY WINDS AND DRY CONDITIONS
WILL ONLY INCREASE THE FIRE THREAT. IF WETTING RAINFALL IS
SEEN...THEN THESE CONDITIONS WILL SHOW AT LEAST SLIGHT
IMPROVEMENT.

AS OF MAY 23RD...BURN BANS WERE IN EFFECT FOR 10 COUNTIES IN SOUTH
CENTRAL TEXAS. THE COUNTIES WITH ESTABLISHED OUTDOOR BURN BANS
INCLUDE BEXAR...DIMMIT...EDWARDS...FRIO...KARNES...KINNEY...
MAVERICK...MEDINA...VAL VERDE AND WILSON COUNTIES.

CURRENTLY ATASCOSA...BANDERA...BASTROP...BLANCO...BURNET...
CALDWELL...COMAL...DEWITT...FAYETTE...GILLESPIE...GONZALES...
GUADALUPE...HAYS...KENDALL...KERR...LAVACA...LEE...LLANO...REAL...
TRAVIS...UVALDE...WILLIAMSON...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 MAY 23RD COUNTY KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX (KBDI) SHOWED KBDI
VALUES OF 300 TO 500 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 ON MAY 21ST INDICATED THERE WERE REPORTS OF FROM A
TRACE TO AS MUCH AS 2 INCHES OF RAIN...ALONG WITH SOME CORN AND
WHEAT DESTROYED BY HAIL. THERE WERE NO REPORTS OF LIVESTOCK OR
WILDLIFE BEING INJURED BY THE HAILSTORMS. TEMPERATURES ROSE INTO
THE 90S. THRIPS WERE AN ISSUE IN SOME COTTON FIELDS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS ARE EXPECTED TO SEE NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES WITH LITTLE TO NO RAINFALL.

PRECIPITATION FROM JANUARY 1, 2013 TO MIDNIGHT MAY 22, 2013 AND
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL:

                    2013       NORMAL     DEPARTURE     PERCENT
                  RAINFALL    TO DATE    FROM NORMAL   OF NORMAL

AUSTIN MABRY        9.15       12.08       -2.93          76%
AUSTIN BERGSTROM   11.40       11.23       +0.17         102%
SAN ANTONIO         7.57       10.66       -3.09          71%
DEL RIO             2.34        6.28       -3.94          37%

FOR MAY TO DATE...DEL RIO HAS RECEIVED 0.59 OF AN INCH OF RAIN.
THIS IS 1.30 INCHES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 1.89 INCHES. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE FOR MAY TO DATE IS 78.8 DEGREES. THIS IS 0.9 OF A
DEGREE BELOW THE NORMAL OF 77.9 DEGREES.

FOR MAY TO DATE...SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS RECEIVED
0.92 OF AN INCH OF RAIN. THIS IS 1.78 INCHES BELOW THE NORMAL OF
2.70 INCHES. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT THE SAN ANTONIO
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR MAY TO DATE IS 73.8 DEGREES. THIS IS
2.0 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 75.8 DEGREES.

FOR MAY TO DATE...AUSTIN MABRY HAS RECEIVED 1.50 INCHES OF RAIN.
THIS IS 1.49 INCHES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 2.99 INCHES. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE AT AUSTIN MABRY FOR MAY TO DATE IS 73.8 DEGREES. THIS
IS 1.8 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 75.6 DEGREES.

FOR MAY TO DATE...AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS
RECEIVED 1.12 INCHES OF RAIN. THIS IS 0.72 OF AN INCH BELOW THE
NORMAL OF 1.84 INCHES. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT THE AUSTIN
BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR MAY TO DATE IS 71.8 DEGREES.
THIS IS 2.2 DEGREES BELOW THE NORMAL OF 74.0 DEGREES.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS WILL LITTLE TO NO RAINFALL. TEMPERATURES
OVERALL WILL RANGE FROM NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL.

THE LATEST CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK
ISSUED MAY 22 AND VALID MAY 30 THROUGH JUNE 5 2013 WAS INDICATING
STRONGER SIGNALS FOR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND BELOW AVERAGE
PRECIPITATION.

THE LONGER RANGE OUTLOOK FOR JUNE 2013 THROUGH AUGUST 2013...
CREATED ON MAY 16TH WAS INDICATING STRONGER TRENDS FOR ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND NO STRONG SIGNALS FOR AVERAGE...ABOVE
AVERAGE OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THESE OUTLOOKS WILL BE
UPDATED AGAIN ON JUNE 20 2013.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

THE RECENT RAINFALL EVENTS HAVE HELPED TO GREATLY REDUCE YEAR TO
DATE RAINFALL DEFICITS ACROSS MOST OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS. AFTER
A WEEK OF VERY WARM TEMPERATURES...THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS ARE
EXPECTED TO SEE NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES. LAKE LEVELS
REMAIN NEARLY STEADY OR CONTINUE TO FALL SLOWLY. AS TEMPERATURES
CONTINUE TO RISE THE EVAPORATION RATES WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE.

THE MAIN DROUGHT CONCERNS ARE CURRENTLY SOME SHORT TERM...BUT
MOSTLY LONG TERM HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.

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

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF MAY 23RD...

AREA LAKES...RIVERS AND RESERVOIRS REMAIN WELL 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             1055.9            -61.1
MEDINA LAKE        1064.2            981.7            -82.5
CANYON LAKE         909              899.1             -9.9
LAKE GEORGETOWN     791              778.0            -13.0
LAKE BUCHANAN      1020              990.7            -29.3
LAKE TRAVIS         681              627.8            -53.2

MEDINA LAKE CONTINUES TO FALL AND WAS AT 5.4 PERCENT OF CAPACITY.
THE SURFACE AREA WAS REDUCED TO 850 ACRES. THIS DATA WAS CURRENT
AS OF MAY 23, 2013.

RESTRICTIONS...

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

THE EDWARDS AQUIFER WAS READING 641.2 FEET AS OF MAY 23RD. THIS
WAS 25.0 FEET BELOW THE HISTORICAL MONTHLY AVERAGE FOR MAY WHICH IS
666.2 FEET. THE AQUIFER LEVEL WAS 19.4 FEET BELOW THE LEVEL
OBSERVED ON THIS DATE IN MAY 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 WENT
INTO STAGE 3 ALARM DROUGHT STATUS IN APRIL.

UVALDE IS CURRENTLY IN STAGE 5 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.

One Response to “May Drought Update”

  1. Fred says:

    Wait, what just happened? Is this the drought buster?

    Natalie, congrats on being preggers, and still working. Not easy.

    You are are great Meteorologist, and will be a great mommy!