Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rains Slow Descent into Deeper Drought

Stage III Critical Drought
Barton Springs: 21 cfs (10-day average)
Lovelady Monitor Well: 458.4 ft-msl

September was a rainy month. As of September 26, the total rainfall for the month has been 4.35 inches, compared to the 3.5 inches historical average. The rains were much needed after the exceptionally dry conditions experienced in August. Barton Springs experienced a spike in discharge that brought flow from approximately 17 cfs at the beginning of September to just over 30 cfs at peak discharge earlier this week. Lovelady also showed a reversal in the decreasing hydrograph that has been the norm since the declaration of drought in November 2012. With the rain soaking soils and replenishing parched plants, conditions are primed for any precipitation in the coming weeks to generate runoff and streamflow, where most of the recharge to the aquifer occurs. Hopefully rainy conditions will persist throughout the fall and winter and substantial recharge can occur long-term. However, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center predicts that drought conditions will persist or intensify in central Texas for the foreseeable future. 

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Precipitation in September not Enough to Change Drought Trends

Stage III Critical Drought
Barton Springs:  15.4 cfs 10-day average based on correlation with Lovelady
Lovelady monitor well: 458.3 ft-msl

Rainfall in September has been good. As of September 12th, 2.45 inches of rain have been measured at the District rain gauge; the historic monthly average is 3.5 inches. Despite the amount of precipitation over the last couple of weeks, recharge to the aquifer has been minimal, with most of the rain water going to replenishing parched soils and vegetation. As a result, water levels in the aquifer continue to decline, creeping closer to Stage IV Exceptional drought. Unless recharge conditions substantially improve we project approaching the Stage IV threshold around the end of the year. 

Last month the USGS began posting real time data from our Lovelady monitor well. That data can be viewed at the following link:

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