Long Range Forecast: Are we headed for another drought?
The heat is definitely here early with this May already in the top five all-time warmest and it looking like a really hot summer is looming. But the bigger question for me is what about the rainfall forecast. Here's why I say this:
Since May 1st we have received less than an inch.(.97")-almost 3 inches below the monthly average(-2.97)
Since January 1st we've gotten 7.54"-that's over 4 inches below normal-(-4.28)
Our Edwards Aquifer level as of today stands at 654.0 feet. The historical average for this date is 665.6 feet. And we are already in Stage 1 water restrictions.
And then there's Medina Lake, which is at 57 % of full and falling daily. But remember that a lot of irrigation water is taken from the Medina this time of yea r.
When you look at these current numbers it's pretty easy to tell unless something changes we're not only in for a long hot summer but a dry one as well with more water restrictions and low lake levels possible.
But when you're talking long term droughts or wet patterns for that matter, you have to look at more global or synoptic patterns to really give you a hint of what's going to happen. Patterns Like El Nino or La Nina. And in this case there's some good and some not so good news. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration we are heading into an El Nino pattern this winter. And then trending out of it by spring of 2019. Most El Nino's bring us above average rainfall and below normal temperatures. And that's NOAA's forecast for us for November through February. So it does look like there is some relief in site in the long run.
But shorter term, this summer and early fall it's looking extra hot and humid and dryer than normal. However, if we get some tropical storms roll through that certainly could help.