Lake Travis, just outside of Austin in the Hill Country, was down 36 feet -- yes, FEET, at the height of the drought this summer. The recent rains in September and October have caused the lake to rise a little more than 13 feet. Which means that it's still 23 feet below its historic October average of 666.61 ft msl.
Forecasters are predicting a strong El Nino weather pattern for this fall and winter.That means Central Texas can expect a wetter and colder than average fall and winter.
El Nino occurs when the Eastern Pacific Ocean water warms up. During an El Nino, the jet stream pushes more storm systems through the Southern United States. El Nino events occur on average every three to five years.
“We’ve gone back and looked at 17 cases of past El Nino events, and we’ve seen in general about a 30 percent increase in precipitation during the wintertime months,” said Paul Yura, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in New Braunfels.
However, a moderate El Nino event may not erase the drought. Experts say that even with normal to increased rainfall, the large hydrologic and soil moisture deficits may mean we will be vulnerable again next summer.Sigh...
Labels: drought, El Nino, rain, weather