Exceptional Drought and Heat in Texas
It’s been a dry year even though there was rain fall early on in 2023 including the ice storm. Some areas of Central Texas are in Exceptional Drought conditions. Excessive heat warnings have been issued for several counties. The three digit temperatures have caused many to stay indoors. The trees are taking a beating in the Texas Hill Country and so is the wildlife as they struggle to find water to drink. It is estimated that approximately 20.7 million of the population in these areas are impacted by the drought. Map changes are made every Thursday. https://www.drought.gov/states/texas
The rivers in Central Texas like the Guadalupe haven’t seen water for at least a year. The Guadalupe River is dry from Rebecca Creek Bridge to 281N. The Blanco River is dry below the dam. The creeks are all dry in these areas. It’s almost like these waterways are begging for a torrent of rain to fall so they can replenish their flow for the fish and wildlife to return.
The Drought & Dryness Categories can be found for the areas impacted on Texas | Drought.gov
Bexar County D4 – Exceptional Drought 10.50 Total Area in Drought (D1–D4) 100.00
Comal County D4 – Exceptional Drought 25.04 Total Area in Drought (D1–D4) 100.00
Kendall County D4 – Exceptional Drought 100.00 Total Area in Drought (D1–D4) 100.00
Severe fish, plant, and wildlife loss reported
Water sanitation is a concern; reservoir levels drop significantly; surface water is nearly dry; river flow is very low; salinity increases in bays and estuaries
Exceptional water shortages are noted across surface water sources; water table is declining
Extreme sensitivity to fire danger; firework restrictions are implemented. To read more go to https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TX
NEWS and PROCLAMATIONS for the STATE OF TEXAS can be found on https://gov.texas.gov/news/category/proclamation
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a Wildfire Disaster Declaration on August 11, 2023 for Anderson, Andrews, Angelina, Aransas, Archer, Atascosa, Austin, Bailey, Bandera, Bastrop, Baylor, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Brazos, Brewster, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Cass, Castro, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, El Paso, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Freestone, Frio, Gaines, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hale, Hamilton, Hardeman, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hudspeth, Hunt, Jack, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kleberg, Knox, La Salle, Lamb, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Llano, Madison, Marion, Martin, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nolan, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Potter, Presidio, Randall, Reagan, Real, Red River, Reeves, Refugio, Robertson, Rockwall, Runnels, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Shelby, Smith, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Upton, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Ward, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Wise, Yoakum, Young, Zapata, and Zavala Counties;
The Governor had previously issued a Drought Disaster Declaration on July 29, 2023 for Andrews, Bandera, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Cameron, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Coryell, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Erath, Gaines, Gillespie, Hamilton, Hays, Hidalgo, Jeff Davis, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Matagorda, Medina, Midland, Mills, Parker, Real, Travis, Waller, Wharton, and Williamson Counties.
Joe Herring an independent investigative journalist wrote an interesting article stating why we are experiencing this phenomenon. His article, NASA: "Unprecedented" Underwater Volcanic Eruption Likely Responsible for Current Heat Waves explains that on January 15 of 2022 the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano erupted. The AGU Advancing Earth and Space Science, Geophysical Research Letters’ explanation can be found on https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2022GL099381
Plain Language Summary
The violent Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption on 15 January 2022 not only injected ash into the stratosphere but also large amounts of water vapor, breaking all records for direct injection of water vapor, by a volcano or otherwise, in the satellite era. This is not surprising since the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai caldera was formerly situated 150 m below sea level. The massive blast injected water vapor up to altitudes as high as 53 km. Using measurements from the Microwave Limb Sounder on NASA's Aura satellite, we estimate that the excess water vapor is equivalent to around 10% of the amount of water vapor typically residing in the stratosphere. Unlike previous strong eruptions, this event may not cool the surface, but rather it could potentially warm the surface due to the excess water vapor.
Regardless of what is causing this extreme heat and drought, we all need to bow to our creator and ask for the blessings of rain. Every parish church should take up the mantra in praying for precious water necessary for LIFE. PRAY FOR RAIN!
NEVER GIVE UP!