Saturday, February 18, 2012

February Rainfall continues wet trend

Rainfall totals of 2-3 inches in Central Texas today (2/18/12) extends the trend of above-normal rainfall to 4 months. Onion Creek and other contributing creeks flowed for brief periods today and provided some additional modest recharge--adding to the recent trend. The District's Board members will deliberate the drought stage declaration next week at its bi-monthly Board Meeting. We are currently in Critical Stage III Drought. As of this evening Barton Springs has risen to near 70 cfs and well above its drought threshold. However, without more rain that flow will drop relatively quickly--but how fast is the unknown. The second drought trigger, the Lovelady water level, is currently within its Alarm Stage drought threshold. Both drought triggers need to be out of a particular drought stage for the Board to remove or lessen a drought status. While the Board could change the drought status from Critical Stage III to Alarm Stage II, they may wait to see how the aquifer responds to avoid jumping out of Critical to Alarm, only to potentially go back in to Critical in the near future. Later in the week we should have a better understanding of the effects of this additional recharge to the aquifer and the Board can make a more informed decision.

Below is an image courtesy of the LCRA Hydromet system showing rainfall over the past 48 hours (captured 2.18.12 10:00pm). As of 10 pm all contributing creeks are flowing, but receding, with peak flows having generally occurred in the early afternoon.

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