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Goodbye Drought?

Updated on August 21, 2013

Still Looking Dry, But Look I see Some Water In The Bottom Of The Lake

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The Latest Weather Report

Not much has changed in Austin, Texas except perhaps the weather. July 2012 has produced some much needed rain and cooler temperatures for the area.

Our temperatures have been fairly normal for summer. We have hit the 100 degree mark several times, though not for long periods of time. Our change in weather is due to moisture from the Gulf and changing pressure systems, making rain a greater possibility over this midwest area. The local weatherman has started a rumor that El Nino may be visiting again. That is good news! Low systems produce more rain and our area desperately needs more moisture. With those cloudy days, the daytime highs have been in the lower nineties, much more tolerable.

Forty Seven Percent Full

As of July 1st, Lake Travis was 47 percent full. What will it take to refill the lakes in our area? Hurricane season is upon us. A tropical depression or hurricane could produce lots of rain over our area and make a drastic difference in our lake levels.

Our last dry season ended with many weeks of sporadic rains that gradually filled the lakes over several months. Perhaps we will see a repeat of this pattern in Texas. As El Nino moves in, we should see more of the storms in our area that will provide the breakthrough we need.

The Drought Effects

The vegetation in the area has suffered greatly over the last couple of years. This summer, our lawns have become extremely dry. Those who don't water have brown grass or dirt where grass once was. Due to watering restrictions from the drought, sprinkler use has been limited to one day on the weekend.

The last four days have produced significant showers in the area. Wednesday's downpour gave us several inches of rain in one day. The lawns are once again green and the trees are enjoying the moist soil.

Has The Rain Helped the Lake Levels?

Though the rains have fallen in areas surrounding Lake Travis, it's levels have not been greatly affected. For lake levels to rise, rain must fall in certain areas where the runoff will flow into the lake.

A trip to a nearby cove at Lake Travis yesterday was disappointing. A light shower was falling and that section of the Lake was unaffected from the recent storms. No water flowed into the lake from the hills surrounding the cove.

The grass on the lake beds has grown tall and thick. After almost two years of exposure, the dry ground is producing wild vegetation that is taking over the area. Homeowners around this lake have seen their property values reduced because their views of the lake have changed.

El Nino

El Nino is our answer to the drought situation. If the low pressure system will stay awhile, we can expect to see some drastic improvement over the next few months. Who knows what the hurricane season will produce in our area. Keep praying for rain!

Rain In The Area

Today is the eighth day of rain, not just sprinkles but substantial rain. These daily storms have produced meaningful amounts of rain, as much as five inches this week in some locations and others much more. The weatherman reported that some areas received five inches today. Our rain trend is very encouraging as the low pressure system allowing the moisture into the area sits perched as our defender against continuing drought.

Could this change in weather be the answer we have been waiting for? Last evening it rained late in the evening. Today, we experienced late afternoon thunder storms. The clouds were building most of the day until the first drops fell around 2:00 pm. Let it rain!

Is the Rain Ending?

After eight days of rain, the extensive rainstorms have subsided. Scattered light showers have continued over the area with greatly reduced rainfall. Per the weathermap, our low pressure system is being pushed west by a high pressure system. A high pressure system over the area means we have little chance for continued rain.

The rains have increased lake levels slightly, but we need much more. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the summer holds. July 2012 has been the wettest in history, normally the driest month. We still have two weeks until August. Will there be more rain?

The End of July

The weather has changed. Our once cloud covered days are becoming hotter and drier. As one hundred degree weather looms before us, the high pressure system over Texas is moving into place to provide hot summer heat.

Our rain chances this past week have been low, between ten and twenty percent. Remarkably, the clouds have been dark and thick, teasing us with thoughts of a rain shower! From the appearance of the skies,I am sure that some outlying areas had a summer shower during the heat of the day.

My prayer for these upcoming summer days are afternoon thunderstorms. El Nino, where are you?

And Later...

It is mid-August, the same year, and there are no signs of drought relief. El Nino has disappeared and the hot days of summer are here. I must say though that the temperatures have been very reasonable this summer. After our high temps last year, one hundred degree days are tolerable. There have not been as many hundred degree days in a row as last year. Just last night, the weatherman said the hottest temps are probably behind us. Let's hear it for Fall!

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