Thursday, July 23, 2009

Severity of drought approaching 1950s

Last night (July 22) we received about 1.3 inches of rain! It was the first trace of rain we've seen in 22 days at the Manchaca (South Austin) rain gauge at the Conservation District office. In addition, 21 of the last 30 days at or above 100 degrees! Apparently, that's the hottest July EVER. Although the rain was welcome, we're very much still in a critical drought, and much more is needed. In fact, we are about 7 inches behind for the year.

“What makes our current drought unique is not the duration but the severity,” LCRA meteorologist Bob Rose said. See quote and Austin-American Statesman article by clicking here.

Although Barton Springs has jumped up to 19 cfs after the rains, the amount was insufficient to provide significant recharge. Unless we recieve more rain, springflow will recede over the next few days to pre-rain conditions.

Drought Stage: Critical (approaching Emergency Response Period)
Barton Springs (July 22): 19 cfs (expected to drop below 16 cfs over the next few days without rain), 15.6 cfs 10-day average
Lovelady Well: 196.5 ft

Fire bans have been in place for both Hays and Travis Counties for many months. Click here for a link to an Austin-American Statesman article.

Other impacts include >3.6 billion in Texas agricultural losses to date, which could eclipse the 2006 losses by the year's end. Click here for the story.

Is this drought as bad as it has been historically...that depends how far back you go. Click here to read about "mega droughts" in the 1600's.

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