Thursday, April 17, 2014

Recent Rains not enough to end Declining Trend; Groundwater Drought Near

Barton Springs discharge: 47 cfs (10-day average)
Lovelady Monitor Well: 478.89 ft-msl

The weather this week brought with it strong gusts of winds, hail, and in some places more than an inch of rain over the course of a few minutes. Despite the dramatic downpour, runoff and flow in creeks over the recharge zone of the aquifer did not amount to much. Water level in the Lovelady monitor well was not noticeably influenced, see figure below. At the time of this post, Lovelady monitor well is about 0.5 feet above its Stage II Drought threshold. Over the past month or so, water level in the well has been decreasing on average 0.2 feet per day. It is likely the District's board will make a drought declaration at their next meeting, which is scheduled for next Thursday, April 24.  Barton Springs is flowing at 47 cfs and may not cross its drought threshold of 38 cfs until mid May. 
Currently, the US Drought Monitor rates much of central Texas as undergoing Abnormally Dry to Extreme Drought conditions. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) expects drought in much of the western 2/3 of Texas to intensify during the Spring of 2014 due to prevailing El Niño-Neutral conditions. Despite the grim prediction for the remainder of Spring, the CPC place better than 50% odds that El Niño conditions will develop by this summer. El Niño, generally, means wetter than normal conditions for Texas.

No comments: