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2016-02-25

How dry? How long?

Feather Wilson

The weather patterns over Texas and the Southwest are expected to gradually become dryer over the next 50-years.
Global warming predictions have the Southwest and Texas drying at a rate that exceeds the past 250 years.
Bandera is in the State Planning Region J, which includes Bandera, Kerr, Real, Val Verde and Kinney Counties.
The Texas Water Development Board requires an update every five years for a 50-year period.
The “drought of record” is the base line for all of the 16 planning groups across Texas.
The 5-year drought that occurred from 1952-1957 is considered the worst drought since rainfall records were kept.
This columnist grew up on a ranch in Comal County during this period and vividly remembers the rocks, dead grass and trees. It was severe, but the heat recorded then never matched what we now appear to experience during the summer months.
The high heat will be a much larger factor in future droughts.
Tree ring data is another way to look back in time at past droughts. Tree ring data from 1500 to 2011, reveal that the drought of record covered a miniscule time frame compared to the past 250 years.
Tree rings are wide during wet years and thin during dry years. Tree ring data from old cypress trees in Central Texas tell us that the longest and most severe drought occurred from 1550 to 1630 or about 80 years compared to the 5-year drought of record in the 1950s.
Tree rings also tell us that five additional droughts before 1950 and after 1630 ranged from 5-10 years each.
Planning 50 years into the future in the face of global warming could negate water management strategies that have been put forth today.
If planning does include the tree ring data, all of the planning could be way off the mark for ground and surface water. It may become a far more bleak future.


Weekly Rainfall = 0.09" Cumulative Rainfall = 0.95"
Departure From Normal = -2.68"
Tarpley Glen Rose WL = -34.92'
Bandera Hosston WL = -436.20'
Hondo Creek Flow = 5.00 cfs
Medina (USGS) Flow = 58.00 cfs
Medina (USGS) Lake = -17.49'
High (F°) = 85º
Low (F°) = 28º
02-15-2016 @ 8:00 am