The First Signs Of SpringClick thumbnail to view full-size
Spring is Bursting Out All Over
As we end the month of February and speed into March, Spring is bursting out all over Central Texas. The first of the ornate fruit trees are beginning to show their splendor. This weekend, the lawnmowers came out and many homeowners were spotted diligently mowing, pulling weeds and moving dirt. Fresh green grass is making its entrance from the earth. The local oaks are showing their fresh and shiny new growth.
It seems Mother Nature is confused this year. The month of February is a bit too early for Spring. Remember March can come in like a lamb and go out like a lion. Summer temperatures will be here soon enough. Can't we have some more cool days?
Local temperatures have been mild this winter. With very few freezes, our current temperatures are approaching the eighties some days. One day last week peaked at ninety degrees. We are experiencing warmer temperatures followed by cooler weather as a Northern front comes through the area. If I were a plant or tree, I would be confused too.
As you can imagine, the Spring pollens are blowing in the winds. Molds as well as grass and tree pollens have reared their ugly heads to afflict those with allergies.
After the drought in 2011, the start of 2012 was forecast to be drier than normal. The weathermen are eating their words as the rain in January and February has exceeded the area norms. With the ground saturated from prior showers, much of the rain is running into the lakes and reversing the downward trend of lake levels.
Our Diminishing LakeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Lakes in Drought
The drought of 2011 produced extremely low lake levels, well below 50% of the lake capacity. The drought has been labeled as exceptional. Boat ramps around Lake Travis have been closed due to the low water levels. Parks around the lake have also been closed with no park staffing. Burn bans have been strictly enforced. Notice the covered grills located in one of the parks. The covers aid in enforcing the burn ban.
The perimeters of the lake, the inlets, have been completely dry for several months. Grass and trees have been growing over the bare terrain as the water receded.
Small Changes In The Lake LevelsClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Lake is Rising
Because of the measurable rainfall in January and February, excess water has been running into the lake and increasing lake water levels. A small stream can be seen in the distance. Water is flowing from the hills and heading into the lake. Some of the boat ramps are being reopened after the last rainfall. The rising lake has made them accessible again. With the recent rains, the exceptional drought has moved into the extreme drought category.
The recent drought has been difficult on the local economy, the wildlife, and the trees. To see the water rise births hope that once again the lake will be at full capacity. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.......
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