What effects will February’s winter storms have on this spring’s bluebonnets?

Weather

A bluebonnet blooms along the side on Interstate 35 on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (KXAN Photo/Chris Davis)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may have noticed a few wildflowers beginning to bloom just before last month’s historic winter storms. If you’re wondering how they may have fared those harsh conditions, there’s some good news.

According to Leslie Uppinghouse, a horticulturist at The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Central Texas wildflower, especially the bluebonnets, are in great shape.

“But specifically, wildflowers [and bluebonnets], the plant base is typically under that 6 inches of snow. And that snow really helped to protect the plant itself,” Uppinghouse says. “So they’re fine. You probably won’t even see any damage for any of those wildflowers.”

Essentially, the snowpack acted as a blanket that kept the wildflowers safe from the bitterly cold temperatures above. Generally, the plants that were exposed to the near zero degree temperatures above the snowpack are the ones who did not make it.

Not only did snow protect the wildflowers, but it also provided some beneficial water. Snow falls as a solid and takes up more volume than when rain falls as a liquid. This is called the “snow to liquid ratio” and it averages at around 10:1, meaning 10 inches of snow will usually equal about 1 inch of liquid rain.

February’s snowstorms added up to about 6 to 8 inches across Central Texas, which equals to about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch of rain that help our wildflowers bloom.

As climate change continues to enhance extreme weather events across the globe, Uppinghouse says scientists will continue to monitor and study the effects these events have on our plants.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Cloudy

San Angelo

61°F Cloudy Feels like 60°
Wind
7 mph SE
Humidity
89%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.
54°F Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.
Wind
18 mph W
Precip
1%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Cloudy

Robert Lee

59°F Cloudy Feels like 57°
Wind
10 mph SE
Humidity
96%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 54F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.
54°F Clear. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 54F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.
Wind
22 mph W
Precip
2%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Cloudy

Eldorado

60°F Cloudy Feels like 58°
Wind
13 mph S
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 53F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
53°F Clear skies. Low 53F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Wind
13 mph WNW
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Cloudy

Mertzon

61°F Cloudy Feels like 59°
Wind
13 mph SSE
Humidity
90%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 51F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.
51°F Clear. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 51F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.
Wind
23 mph W
Precip
1%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Cloudy

Eden

59°F Cloudy Feels like 57°
Wind
12 mph SSE
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.
54°F Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.
Wind
14 mph W
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous

Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo

Skylive Cameras


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, no watering between noon and 6 pm. 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!