Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Little Recharge, but Rains Prime Soil for Recharge

Stage II Alarm Drought
Barton Springs: 42 cfs 10-day average
Lovelady well: 475.4 ft-msl

The storms over the last few days brought with them much needed precipitation to what has been an exceedingly dry spring. On May 8th, the US Drought monitor reported that the majority of the state was being afflicted by meteorological drought. As of today, the total rainfall at the District office for 2014 is 7.5 inches, barely over half the historic average of 14.3 inches. Dry soil conditions preceding the heavy rains we received this week precluded sustained runoff to the creeks, where the majority of the recharge to the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer occurs. The recharge that did occur will not be enough to remove aquifer drought conditions, but will prolong entering deeper stages of drought. Another very welcome effect of the rains is that they will have increased soil moisture, priming them to produce runoff and potential recharge to the aquifer if we get more rain in the next couple of weeks. NOAA predicts that El NiƱo conditions are likely to develop by the end of summer, generally meaning wetter conditions in Texas. Let's hope in the mean time we get more storms like the ones we saw this week!

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