Drought conditions persists across West Central Texas

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As July comes to a close, the unrelenting heat and lack of rainfall has left the Concho Valley dry and in need of rain. 

The latest U.S. drought monitor (USDM), released on July 26, indicates severe drought (D2) conditions exist across much of the Eastern Concho Valley, the Heartland, and the Northwest Hill Country. Moderate drought (D1) conditions persist across portions of the Concho Valley, as well as southern and eastern Big Country.

At Mathis Field, San Angelo received 9.68 inches of rainfall, which is 1.94 inches below normal. 

The lack of rainfall not only impacts water levels, but also enhances our chances for fire weather. Warmer than seasonal average temperatures combined with period of dry, gusty winds can enhance critical fire weather conditions. The Texas Forest Service suggests observing daily weather forecasts, since low humidity, gusty winds and above average temperatures can lead to fire danger.

As of July 27, county-wide outdoor burn bans were supported in all West Central Texas counties, except Crockett, Irion, Sterling, and Shackelford counties. To see if your county is under a burn ban, click here for a map provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

For the week ahead, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook shows increased chances of near to above normal precipitation, along with near to above normal temperatures. This is due to a cold front moving through the region Monday afternoon and evening, which will bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Unfortunately, by the beginning of August, dry conditions return to the area.

The CPC’s latest seasonal drought outlook for July 19 through October 31 shows drought conditions likely persisting or developing across all of West Central Texas. However, El Niño looks to setup later into the fall and winter. El Niño in Texas generally brings cooler than normal temperatures and wetter than normal conditions.

Additional river information or current drought conditions can be found at the following sites:

U.S. Drought Monitor

NOAA Drought page

Climate Prediction Center (CPC)

San Angelo National Weather Service (NWS)

National Weather Service (NWS)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

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Water Conservation Status

Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6:00 p.m., but runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!