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Heavy rains/flooding in Texas


Kinsa

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It has been a tough run of weather this spring for Texas but I think that it is safe to say that the drought is over!

 

We live near Van, TX and only 6 miles from the path of the tornado that was so destructive there so am very sympathetic to the folks there. We lost two very dear friends in Van and have spent a lot of time in the recovery effort.

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but I think that it is safe to say that the drought is over!

 

I'm not sure about that. The major reservoirs and aquifers which supply water to the IH35 corridor of Austin and San Antonio are still very low from years of drought. Lake Travis rose 7' in 12 hours, but is still over 32' low. http://www.golaketravis.com/waterlevel/ There are many lake front homes on Lake Buchanan which haven't seen the lake in five years. Lake Buchanan is still only 40% full. http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/reservoirs/individual/buchanan

 

Recent rains have certainly been helpful.

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It has been a tough run of weather this spring for Texas but I think that it is safe to say that the drought is over!

 

We live near Van, TX and only 6 miles from the path of the tornado that was so destructive there so am very sympathetic to the folks there. We lost two very dear friends in Van and have spent a lot of time in the recovery effort.

Rain and wind are no fun but when you actually lose people to nasty weather that is tragic. I hope the drought is over for you guys (and everyone else, too). But I have a nasty suspicion that what we're seeing over the past few years is the new normal.

 

Our sympathies, Kirk.

 

WDR

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I'm not sure about that.

Check the current weather forecast and the long term one as well. It does take more than an end to a drought for all effects of it to be removed, just as the storm being over is only the first step in repairing its destruction. I suspect that few people in most parts of Texas will be praying for more rain in the next few days.

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Rain and wind are no fun but when you actually lose people to nasty weather that is tragic.

Yes, it is so sad when people lose their lives. Locally, a beautiful young lady died when her car was swept away as she was on her way home from her senior prom:

 

http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2015/05/24/devine-teen-swept-away-in-car-by-floodwater.html

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Check the current weather forecast and the long term one as well. It does take more than an end to a drought for all effects of it to be removed, just as the storm being over is only the first step in repairing its destruction. I suspect that few people in most parts of Texas will be praying for more rain in the next few days.

 

I was not commenting on the destruction repair or what people might be praying for. I was simply addressing the drought, and whether it is over or not. Most folks along the Lower Colorado River Authority have been in one stage or another of water restrictions for at least three years. It'll take more than a couple of months of rains to end the drought.

 

I'm hoping the long term predictions are accurate, but you know how predictions go.

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I just wish we could bank some of this rain for July and August . I'm sure we will be wishing for some in those months.

 

As for the drought being over I would say that both of you are right. If you live east of or in the Brazos water shed then yes the drought is thought to be broken . But over in the Colorado river basin they are still in need of rain ,most of those lakes are still well below normal with some that supply the Midland Odessa area in the 4 to 16 % full range. Plus as mentioned Buchanan is still 28 feet low.

 

Used to be a weather man on channel 5 ( NBC)that would say the only way to end a drought is with a flood.

 

Kirk my sympathy for your loss

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I'm not sure about that. The major reservoirs and aquifers which supply water to the IH35 corridor of Austin and San Antonio are still very low from years of drought. Lake Travis rose 7' in 12 hours, but is still over 32' low. http://www.golaketravis.com/waterlevel/ There are many lake front homes on Lake Buchanan which haven't seen the lake in five years. Lake Buchanan is still only 40% full. http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/reservoirs/individual/buchanan

 

Recent rains have certainly been helpful.

Interesting info. Given all the rain I have heard about, I would have guessed Texas reservoirs were all full. There is obviously still a ways to go.

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Unfortunately with flooding the super saturation of the ground makes a lot of that water flow on downstream. You get a boost from what could be absorbed but its a relatively small amount on the whole compared to what fell. If you could direct most of it straight to lakes, reservoirs and aqua-firs then ending a drought may be possible however most is wasted and flows on through.

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In North Texas the 5 year drought is over, almost all our lakes are at flood stage, almost all boat launches and parks and many campgrounds are closed for the holiday weekend. I live on Lake Lewisville and it is 10.94 foot above conversation pool (flood) and that is the same for most of the lakes in North Texas, there are only 3 of 20 something lakes in North Texas, that are not flooding, but they are within a foot of being full. The frontage road on I-35 by my house is closed because of water and that is only the third time since '82 it has been. They have declared the drought is officially over in this part of the state, on the news last night they did a time lapse of the drought map and the dark red faded to nothing.

 

We have not had any 90 degree temps here in DFW yet this year and the normal average high for May is 84 and June average is 92. Every day in May has had a record high of at least 90 up to 107. So this year has been cool and wet here in North Texas.

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Interesting info. Given all the rain I have heard about, I would have guessed Texas reservoirs were all full. There is obviously still a ways to go.

It is pretty much true that those in the eastern half or so of the state are now full, but rain began here well before it did in the west and we also had a lot of smaller, slower rains first and then came the rapid, high volume storms that filled our lakes so we are definitely well ahead of the western part.. Unfortunately, the only way to fill lakes quickly is with flooding rains upstream above the problem lakes and that is now happening but slower rains of longer duration usually do more for the aquifer where wells are the main supply.

 

The remark about the drought being over was intended to have been tongue in cheek.... :P

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There are formal definitions for different states of "drought" and they go far beyond reservoirs being full or not, and how much rain has fallen over a short term. I work in a field where we need to be able to quantify drought in a scientific manner, and we utilize the US Drought Monitor site, which uses a composite of several indices to define degree of drought.

 

Here is the Texas Drought Map from one year ago. Most of the state was in some degree of drought, with the orange, red, and burgundy being "severe", "extreme", and "exceptional" respectively.

 

20140520_TX_date.png

You can see that the drought had begun to ease by the end of last year:

20141230_TX_date.png

And by last week (prior to the past few day's heavy rains) most of Texas was already out of the drought.

 

20150519_TX_date.png

The area west of Central Texas is the watershed for both Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis, and that area was still in moderate to severe drought. I suspect this week's update will erase much of that as well.

 

For comparison, here is the current California map:

20150519_CA_date.png

If only some of that Texas rain would head west!

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