El Nino pattern could help keep us out of water restrictions this summer

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SAN ANTONIO---All the rain we got late this year and now the steady rainfall so far this year is mainly thanks to the El Nino pattern we're in and that could have some lasting effects later on this summer.

It's turned our drought fortunes upside down, and the Edwards Aquifer is up twenty feet from this time last year.

El Nino occurs when we see warmer than normal temps in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. Right now it looks like there is about a 65% chance this pattern will continue into early spring. What that means to us is more disturbances moving at us from the West and more rain opportunities. That was certainly the case in 2018 when we had more than 40 inches, almost 9 and 1/2 inches above normal.

But the big question is whether that will this keep us out of a drought this coming summer and out of water stage restrictions.

Karen Guz, Conservation Director for SAWS explains, "Our aquifer responds to rain incredibly well and we've had a nice cool, wet winter and that water has gone into the aquifer and it's nice and high. So we're going into spring well situated as a region to potentially avoid drought restrictions this spring and summer."

Since August of 2018 when we were close to going into Stage 3 water restrictions the aquifer has risen 40 feet!!.

And the outlook right now for the next 3 months is indicating normal to above normal rainfall for South Texas and for that matter most of the state.

Karen Guz also said that the aquifer typically drops about 25-30 feet in the spring and summer because of farmers irrigating their crops and because we’re watering our lawns more.

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