Lately rain has been hard to come by. Gary from Leander was wondering the last time we had an above average year for rainfall, what is causing less rain events and are these dry years a sign of things to come?
It looked promising that we would end up with a rain surplus, but the dry autumn has put much of the area under a severe drought again.
We've seen more rain this year but the area is still recovering from the very dry 2011. The latest droughts were so intense it seems like it has been super dry for a long time.
However, since 1980 the wet years outweigh the dry ones....13 to 9.
This trend has actually increased our 30 year normals a few inches over the decades.
The extreme rain events and droughts can be blamed more on the warming and cooling of the eastern pacific. It seems like the El Nino and La Nina patterns are playing a bigger role on our climate the last few decades leading to bigger swings in rainfall each year.
During El Nino, the storm track is pointed at Texas producing a higher frequency of rain events.
La Nina is just the opposite. The storm track hangs out way north leaving us really dry.
Since El Nino is weak this winter, near average rainfall is expected for the next few months.
Going into next spring, the news doesn't get any better. There is a good chance of drier than average rainfall from April through June which is normally the rainy season. So the drought will persist.
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