Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Austin/San Antonio, TX

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TXC013-019-021-029-031-053-055-091-123-127-137-149-163-171-177-
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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio TX
816 AM CDT Thu Aug 11 2022

...DROUGHT CONTINUES TO WORSEN ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS WITH
ONLY SPOTTY AND VERY MINOR RELIEF THIS WEEK...

.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:

For a graphical Drought Brochure, please visit our website at
weather.gov/ewx/drought.

Below to well below normal rainfall and well above normal
temperatures have continued over the past four weeks. While a few
isolated locations were able to pick up a quick 1-3” (primarily in
Dimmit, Edwards, Gillespie, and Lavaca Counties,) the majority of the
region has seen less than 1” and a few spots no rain at all.
Average values over that period range from ~1.5” near Del Rio to
2-3” over most of our area. On top of existing deficits, this has
been bad news for drought impacts across south-central Texas.

The U.S. Drought Monitor valid August 9 and issued on August 11
by the National Drought Mitigation Center showed Extreme (D3) to
Exceptional (D4) Drought now covers almost all of south-central Texas
(96%). Only a couple holes of Severe (D2) Drought remain across
northern Bastrop, northern Val Verde, and extreme northwestern
Edwards County. The last time this much of South-
Central Texas experienced D4 conditions (62.5% currently) was
November 2011, deep into the historic 2011 drought.

.Hydrologic conditions:
According to the USGS Current Water Data, 7-day flows remain below to
much below normal across nearly all basins in south- central
Texas. Most of the western half of the region has streamflows
below the 10th percentile for this time of year, while most areas
east of US-281 have streamflows between the 10th and 25th
percentiles. The only exception is the Cibolo Creek basin which is
experiencing near-normal flows as of August 9th.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

Water Restrictions as of August 10, 2022:

Austin – Stage 1
Fredericksburg - Stage 3
Kerrville - Year Round Conservation
New Braunfels - Stage 3
San Antonio - Stage 2 (Edwards Aquifer Authority declared stage
3 for other pumpers)
San Marcos - Stage 2
Georgetown - Stage 2
Hutto -  Stage 3

Other locations may have water conservation or restriction rules
so be sure to check for your location.

Edwards Aquifer information as of August 10, 2022:

Current Level   2021 J-17 Level  Month (AUG) Average    Difference
630.7 ft          666.7 ft             657.9 ft          -27.2 ft

A continued lack of rain over the Aquifer recharge zone during a
high-usage period has contributed to falling aquifer levels
through the spring and early summer. The aquifer level at the J-17
index well has dropped nearly 10 feet over the past 5 weeks.
This is now over 25 feet below historical average values for this
time of year. The last time this well was this low was October
2014.

Reservoir Conditions as of August 10, 2022...
Below is a list of reservoirs with the latest elevations and
normal pools.

              Conservation Pool    Latest Elevation    Difference
                    (FT)                 (FT)             (FT)

Lake Amistad        1117                1053.1            -63.9
Medina Lake         1064.2               992.7            -71.5
Canyon Lake          909                 903.6             -5.4
Lake Buchanan       1020                1004.1            -15.9
Lake Travis          681                 645.5            -34.5


.Soil Moisture Impacts...

Each week, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) analyzes the
percent of available soil moisture as compared to normal. The
August 9 available soil moisture ranges from the 1st percentile
(extremely dry) over western Val Verde County to near normal over our
far southeastern areas. The higher-resolution NASA SPORT-LIS products
for both 10cm depth shows near-normal soil moistures (greater than
30th percentile) do exist in some areas of the Coastal Plains. At 100
cm, portions of Dimmit and Maverick Counties even show above normal
(70+ percentile) soil moistures. For what it’s worth, the
Crop-CASMA product that integrates SMAP satellite data to estimate
soil moisture anomalies carries negative anomalies across all of
south-central TX, ranging from 20% to 70% below normal as of August
5.


.Fire Danger Hazards...

Fire Danger August

In the short term, fire danger is forecast to be low to moderate
across the region into the upcoming weekend with our first period of
near to below temperatures in well over a month, as well as chances
for scattered afternoon showers and storms. Gusty outflow winds could
lead to localized, short lived fire weather issues each afternoon
through Saturday. Portions of the area will see fire danger increase
by next week as high pressure re-strengthens over the region. The TFS
Predictive Services weekly outlook issued Aug 8 states: “Rainfall
observed this week may mask heat hibernating in large diameter and
ground fuel, but emerge once the triple digit heat returns. Hot and
dry conditions will also facilitate high rates of drying in surface
fuel, likely making fuel beds receptive to ignitions resulting in
high initial attack fire potential over the weekend.”

In the longer term, The National Interagency Fire Center
Predictive Service Outlooks issued August 1st depict Significant
Wildland Fire Potential is anticipated to remain above normal
areawide through at least November. When we re-enter our more
variable fall season next month and cold fronts begin to push this
far south again, dry air and gusty winds could lead to more frequent
widespread fire weather issues unless widespread significant rains
are able to return.

KBDI is an index generated by the Texas A&M Forest Service used
to determine forest fire potential, which is based on a daily
water balance considering precipitation and soil moisture. The
KBDI can range from 0 to 800, where a value of 0 represents no
moisture depletion, and 800 would be representative of absolutely
dry conditions. A KBDI between 600 and 800 is often associated
with severe drought and increased wildfire potential.

The August 10 issuance of the KBDI showed values of 700+
across all of south-central TX, except Edwards, Dimmit, And Maverick
have county averages of 600-700.

Please visit https://twc.tamu.edu/kbdi to see the latest KBDI
values for TX.

Texas A&M Forest Service maps indicated that burn bans are in
effect for all 33 counties across the region as of August 10,
2022:

Please visit https://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/decban.png to see
the latest depiction of counties in a burn ban.

.Agricultural Impacts...

From the Texas Crop and Weather Report from Texas A&M AgriLife
issued August 9th, 2022:

- Very short soil moisture levels
-Pumping capacity for irrigation wells continued to decline in
places. Fortunately, crops in many of those fields were mature and
yields will not be severely impacted.
- Corn and sorghum harvests neared completion with below-average
yields reported. Cotton was maturing, but south some cotton showed
signs of moisture stress/wilting. Producers reported corn, sorghum or
cotton failures.
- Pastures continued to decline, and supplemental feeding of
livestock continued. Livestock were being sold due to the short
supply and cost of hay.

In the Coastal Bend region:
-Cotton yields were below normal. All corn and sorghum fields were
harvested.
-Rangeland and pastures were worsening, and even well-managed
pastures were in poor shape. A little hay under irrigation was being
harvested. Cattle producers were actively baling corn, grain sorghum
and rice stubble as alternative forages in response to the current
drought, but there were concerns about nitrates and prussic acid.
-More cattle were being taken to local auctions as pastures and
resources were depleted.
-The pecan crop looked good, and fungal problems have been
nonexistent with the lack of moisture; producers were having to water
heavily.

No impacts have been reported directly to NWS Austin/San Antonio.
We welcome input on impacts from any users of this product now
and in the future, please contact keith.white@noaa.gov!

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:

Some isolated to scattered showers and storms will bring minor relief
to portions of the region each afternoon through Saturday, but some
locations will likely see no rain and maximum amounts of 1-2” will
only put a small dent in our long-running deficits. High pressure
will strengthen in the region Sunday into next week, shutting off
rain chances for a bit.

The NWS Climate Prediction Center outlooks for 6-10 and 8-14 days
issued August 10 depict odds tilted towards a return of warmer than
normal conditions through the third week of August, but near-normal
temperatures are favored over our northern counties in the week two
outlook. There may be some low chances for summer rains to return by
next weekend, with both of these outlooks showing a weak 33-40% tilt
towards wetter than normal conditions.

La Nina conditions remain in place and chances are near 65
percent for La Nina to continue through the November-January
period. Confidence continues to increase in this potential, but
it is not yet locked in stone and there is a 35% chance Neutral
conditions could return prior to next spring. It is certain, however,
that we wont see El Nino Conditions later this year. ENSO neutral
conditions are favored to return by the late winter/early spring.

Partially as a result of this outlook, longer-term climate outlooks
through the end of October continue a likelihood of above average
temperatures on the whole. There is no clear signal whether
precipitation will be below, near, or above normal, except for the
southern Edwards Plateau where odds lean dry. Drought is unlikely to
improve much over the next few months. Although once we get into a
fall pattern we should see occasional widespread rains, it’s
unlikely to lead to complete drought mitigation before winter as the
deck is strongly stacked against us at the moment.

Sometimes, looking at analogues can give us some hope. After a hot,
dry year in 2011, the winter of 2011-2012 brought another La Nina and
prospects for significant improvement seemed grim. However, that
winter proved to be a rare exception to our typical patterns under La
Nina and winter rains brought marked improvement to drought
conditions early in 2012. While we can’t say we expect similar to
occur this time around, there are reasons to be hopeful.

Local Rainfall for the Year to Date as of August 10.

                     2022      Normal    Departure    Percent of
                    to Date   to Date   from Normal     Normal

Austin Bergstrom     14.33"    21.22"      -6.89"         68%
Austin Mabry         12.13"    21.18"      -9.05"         57%
Del Rio               2.97"    11.43"      -8.46"         26%
San Antonio           5.17"    18.99"      -13.82"        27%

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

This product will be updated Thursday September 15 or sooner if
drought conditions change significantly.

.RELATED WEB SITES:

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:
US Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
US Drought Information System: https://www.drought.gov
NOAA Drought Page: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought
Austin/San Antonio NWS...http://www.weather.gov/EWX

Additional water and river information:
NWS: https://water.weather.gov
OWP: https://water.noaa.gov
US Geological Survey (USGS): https://water.usgs.gov
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): https://www.usace.army.mil

.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s
National Weather Service and the National Climatic Data Center,
the USDA, State,and Regional Center Climatologists and the
National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS FAA observation sites, State
Cooperative Extension Services, the USDA, USACE, and USGS.

.CONTACT INFORMATION:

If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
2090 Airport Road
New Braunfels Texas 78130
830-629-0130 Press 2

$$


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