Friday, March 25, 2016

El Nino Continues, Aquifers Benefit

No Drought
Lovelady well height: 529.06 ft-msl
Barton Springs: approximately 104 cfs 10-day average

As predicted, the current El Niño phenomenon has ranked among the strongest (and for some the most disruptive) in history. As seen in this graphic from the National Weather Service, the characteristic warming of the ocean has only slowly begun to diminish into March. This occurrence ties the previous 1997-1998 instance as the strongest on record. Climate predictions indicate above-normal precipitation continuing into May 2016. It’s also predicted this will hasten a strong hurricane season later this year. Looking ahead, climatologists predict there will likely be a shift into a La Niña period this fall. For more information, visit this article on

Locally, we’re still benefiting from increased rainfall due to El Niño. According to the LCRA, Austin and surrounding areas have received 1 to 2 inches of rain in the last two weeks adding to the 2016 total of between 6-8 inches.  As of March 22, 2016, the drought monitor lists all of Central
Texas as drought free.
Above average rainfall continues to yield recharge to the Edwards Aquifer, especially at sites like Antioch Cave on Onion Creek. Below, take a look at a video of recharge in action at Antioch cave, forming a whirlpool at the vault built over it.