Texas Hill Country Rain
Lake Travis is Extremely LowClick thumbnail to view full-size
Update on Drought
With a severe drought under our belt, Texas has been in need of rain for months. The year 2011 has been a difficult one for many with lakes drying up and farms and ranches in crisis. Many trees in the area have died from the extreme heat of the summer and lack of moisture. Some communities have been close to running out of water as their water resources have diminished over time.
The Fall months in Central Texas have been relatively dry with an occasional day of rain showers. All of the season hurricanes passed us by. In the past, they have often replenished our water tables during a dry season. Not so this year.
Two days ago, a line of showers entered our area. With cooler air and lots of moisture in the clouds, we have been experiencing a weekend of soaking rains which are forecast to continue until Monday afternoon. This welcome change of weather has lifted our spirits as well as increased our water levels to some degree in area lakes and ponds!
Hill Country Photos on a Rainy DayClick thumbnail to view full-size
What Does Our Fall Look Like?
With trees greatly stressed from the drought, our Fall has been colorless. The only shades of color have been burned browns as the leaves were dying. With the rains, some local trees are beginning to show signs of changing leaves with red hues in their leaves. I would describe the general condition of our Fall color as muted. There are no bright red or yellow leaves visible in the natural landscapes.
Is The Drought Ending?
Two years ago we also experienced a drought. Although it was not as severe as our current drought, Lake Travis was only half full. It was a dry summer and the water resources dwindled. The weather changed in September. It began to rain. It would rain for a couple of day, clear up and then rain some more. We had a rainy season through the Fall and into the Spring. The lakes were refilled comletely without the rains from a major hurricane or storm.
The weatherman has projected that the drought will continue until the first of the year. Has the high pressure system that kept the rains away moved off in another direction? Will it return and end this wet season? The cold fronts from the West and North have triggered rains as they entered the area. Will they continue to do so? I don't know the answer, but it feels a lot like a change in weather patterns to me. Time will tell us if the weatherman's predictions are true or not, but in the meantime I am celebrating a rainy, cold day in the kitchen. It is a great day to bake some Christmas cookies and simmer a favorite recipe on the stove!
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The Next Year
2012 drought conditions have not improved much for the area. With plenty of rain during the first couple of months of the year, the high pressure system has settled once again over our area leaving us with very dry weather patterns. The lake levels are decreasing as we look forward to the month of July. Just a few days ago, the weatherman reported Lake Travis was below the fifty percent full level again. Local temperatures are soaring to 100 degrees and higher.
This weather forcast noted that several of our northeast states have been experiencing high temperatures, well into the nineties. I am grateful for the widespread airconditioning systems in our area. Most homes are well equipped and the local stores keep the shoppers cool. That is not always the case in some of the northern locations. The need for airconditioning is not frequent and when the hot temperatures arrive, it is almost unbearable.
Hurricane season is here. The first tropical depression of the year appeared iust inside the Gulf Of Mexico and dumped several inches of rain over the Florida area. We need a tropical storm in our area as do many of the southern states bordering the Gulf. I don't wish a hurricane on anyone, but a good rain storm would sure help. Praying for rain in Texas, again.......