Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Worst (meteorological) Drought in 100 years!"

Critical Stage Drought
Barton Springs Discharge (10-day average) = 19.2 cfs
Lovelady depth to water = 194.3 ft

The aquifer remains in Critical Stage drought as central Texas reaches a drought of historic proportion--one not seen since the drought of 1917-18. “The last time we had a (meteorological) drought this bad was in January 1918,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist. “The droughts in the 1950s in individual years were not as bad as this.” (see link to NY Times article below) The photo above shows the trickling Colorado River at Austin during the 1917 drought.

While this is the worst meteorological drought in the last 100 years, it will take some time for the aquifers and reservoirs to reach their lowest levels. In other words, the hydrological drought, which impacts aquifers and surface water and lags behind meteorological droughts, is not quite as severe...yet. If these dry conditions remain it is only a matter of time before the aquifers and reservoirs reach historic low levels.

Two recent articles about the "worst drought in nearly 100 years":
1) Click here for a NY Times article

2) Click here for a short video clip from a Texas A&M professor.