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

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3
000
AXUS74 KEWX 152339
DGTEWX
TXC013-019-021-029-031-053-055-091-123-127-137-149-163-171-177-
187-209-255-259-265-271-285-287-299-323-325-385-453-463-465-491-
493-507-180145-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio TX
639 PM CDT Sun May 15 2022

...EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONTINUES TO EXPAND AND NOW
COVERS OVER 60 PERCENT OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:

Springtime typically brings an increase in shower and thunderstorm
activity to our region, and this year has been no exception,
although rains have been harder to come by than in most years.
Some recent rains over Val Verde and western Kinney and Edwards
counties have contributed to minor drought improvement there, and
some locations near and east of Austin have at least picked up a
couple inches over the past month. However, much of the region
continues to see rainfall deficits. In general, most of south-
central TX has received less than half the normal rainfall over
the past 90 days, with many areas less than 25%.

The U.S. Drought Monitor valid May 10th and issued on May 12th by
the National Drought Mitigation Center, showed a significant
expansion of Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D3) Drought, primarily
west of I-35/I-37. In total, 60% of south-central TX is now under
at least D3 status, while only 6% of the region is under
Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions. The worst conditions are across
portions of the Hill Country, Rio Grande Plains, and Winter Garden
regions, with (D4) depicted across 25.5% of our service area.

.Hydrologic conditions:
According to the USGS Current Water Data, 7-day flows remain below
to much below normal across the majority of basins in south-
central Texas. Streamflows still fall within the normal category,
or between the 25th and 75th percentiles for this time of year,
for some basins mainly along and east of I-35/I-37 such as the San
Antonio River Basin.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

Water Restrictions as of May 11th, 2022:

Austin - Conservation Stage
Fredericksburg - Stage 3
Kerrville - Year Round Conservation
New Braunfels - Stage 2
San Antonio - Stage 2
San Marcos - Stage 2

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

Edwards Aquifer information:

Current Level     2021 Level     May Average     Difference
 646.1 ft          665.2 ft       665.7 ft        -19.6 ft

Rainfall has remained hard to come by over the Aquifer recharge
zone. As a result the aquifer level at the J-17 index well has
dropped another 5 feet over the past 5 weeks. This is now nearly
20 feet below historical average values for this time of year.

Reservoir Conditions as of May 11, 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                1061.3            -55.7
Medina Lake         1064.2              1007.7            -56.5
Canyon Lake          909                 907.3             -1.7
Lake Buchanan       1020                1014.9             -5.1
Lake Travis          681                 654.5            -26.5

.Soil Moisture Impacts...

Each week, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) analyzes the
percent of available soil moisture as compared to normal. The
May 10th available soil moisture ranges from the 1st percentile
(extremely dry) over portions of the Rio Grande Plains to about
the 10th percentile over our far southeastern areas. As this is a
low resolution product, some of these areas that picked up rain
recently have soil moistures that are less dire than shown here.
NASAs Short-term Prediction and Transition Center - Land
Information System (SPoRT-LIS) 0-100cm Soil Moisture Percentile
product valid May 10th is a higher-resolution data set and shows
some slight differences from the low-resolution CPC product. While
there are a few pockets with soil moistures below the 2nd
percentile, the majority of south-central Texas falls within the
10th to 20th. Portions of the Hill Country and Coastal Plains fall
in between the 2nd and 10th percentiles. There are a few small
pockets with near normal (30th to 70th percentile) soil moistures
in this product.

.Fire Danger Hazards...

Fire Danger May 10

In the short term, humid conditions and recent rainfall may keep
widespread fire weather concerns at bay. TFS maps depict some
pockets of High to Very High fire danger over the Hill Country
over the next few days. Fire Weather concerns may return on dry,
breezy days, particularly if any cold fronts are able to cross
the region, but we are quickly entering the time of year where
they no longer reach this far south.

The National Interagency Fire Center Predictive Service Outlook
issued May 1st depicts Significant Wildland Fire Potential will
remain above normal through the Summer for the Edwards Plateau.

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 May 11th issuance of the KBDI showed values increasing from
northeast to southwest across our region, ranging from 300-400
for Bastrop, Fayette, Lee and Williamson counties to 700-800 for
most areas along and west of US-281, except 500-600 for the
southern Edwards Plateau.

County KBDI values as of May 11, 2022:

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 21 of the 33 counties across the region as of May 11,
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 May 10th, 2022:

-Rangeland and Pasture conditions remained poor, but slightly
 improved over the previous month due to the recent rains.
-Dryland pastures were overstressed. Producers continue to
 provide supplemental feed, but livestock looked fair to good
 overall. The price of supplemental feed is increasing.
-Wildlife looked thin, but with recent rains, some improvement
 was expected.
-Rains were timely for many crops but were spotty; below normal
 rains plus the wind and heat over the past month has led to soils
 remaining dry over the southwest region. Some grain sorghum
 stands were destroyed by dryland producers due to poor
 performance.
-Spinach, onion, and cabbage production in the Winter Gardens
 region was steady, but down from the previous year.
-Wheat and hay fields looked good under irrigation. Crops not
 getting irrigation were running behind schedule. Some cotton crop
 failure was noted over the Coastal Bend.

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!

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:

Over the next 7 days, little to no rainfall is forecast for south-
central Texas, with only an isolated thunderstorm or two on May 12
in western Val Verde County.

The NWS Climate Prediction Center depicts warmer than normal
conditions are likely to continue May 19 to 25. There are signs
of a pattern shift that could bring better rain chances to the
region during the last 10 days or so of May, but for now the
precipitation outlook for the 19-25 shows near-normal
precipitation is favored.

Longer- term outlooks through the end of July continue these
trends, with warmer than normal conditions likely and no clear
signal whether precipitation will be below, near, or above
normal. As a result, drought conditions will likely remain in
place over the coming weeks and months, with the more severe
impacts expected west of I-35 and I-37. Should rain not
materialize over the next couple of weeks, the areas not currently
in drought will likely see drought status return.

La Nina conditions actually strengthened in April and chances are
beginning to increase for a third straight winter of La Nina.
Confidence is still low and Neutral conditions could return,
however it is relatively certain that we wont see El Nino
Conditions later this year. These signs point towards at least
some potential for longer-term drought to set in. However, our
primary rainy season continues for another 5-6 weeks so we do
still have some hope for relief.

Local Rainfall for the Year to Date as of May 11.

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

Austin Bergstrom     11.91"    11.67"      +0.24"        102%
Austin Mabry          8.33"    11.46"      -3.13"         73%
Del Rio               2.69"     4.76"      -2.07"         57%
San Antonio           3.98"     9.86"      -5.88"         40%

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

This product will be updated by Thursday, June 9th 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
NWC: 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

$$


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.