AUSTIN - In just the last two years, Central Texas has experienced a wide range of weather. From droughts to floods, and from wildfires to tornadoes.
"Texas does have larger swings in seasonal weather than most other states. It's not just a matter of perception, it's reality," said Texas Climatologist and Texas A&M Professor Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon.
"Here in Central Texas, our weather pattern is generally a long period of dry weather, and then it's broken by very intense rain," explained LCRA Meteorologist Bob Rose.
The intense rain occurred as recently as the spring of 2015 and 2016. Thanks to an El Niño weather pattern, a tremendous amount of rainfall erased the historic drought that peaked in 2011 and filled Lake Travis.
So will we see a repeat of the last two Springs?
"We don't see any really strong signal one way or the other that we are going to be unusually dry, or unusually wet. It just looks like we are going to see a fairly typical pattern of rainfall, with rainfall overall averaging near normal," said Rose.
And that's largely due to the absence of La Niña or El Niño this spring, the first time that's happened since 2014.
An average spring in Central Texas is characterized by a number of stormy days, including May, which is the wettest month of the year.
And looking ahead at this coming summer:
"As of now, a pretty hot summer is shaping up," said Rose.
On average, just over a dozen triple digit days are recorded. But the last few years have featured a lot more than that, including a record 90 triple digit days in 2011.
There is some good news:
"The odds favor slightly wetter than normal over the entire year, but of course it's Texas and there are a lot of possibilities within that average," explained Dr. Nielsen-Gammon.
Bottom line, there is thankfully not another drought on the horizon, but as history has shown, it's just a matter of time before a drier weather pattern returns to the state.
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