Tag Archives: South Central Texas

Let the flooding begin

We’re under a flood advisory from the Austin-San Antonio office of the National Weather Service :

"AT 644 AM CDT MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINS WERE FALLING AT RATES
APPROACHING AN INCH AN HOUR. RAINFALL FROM YESTERDAY AND OVERNIGHT
HAS BEGUN TO SATURATE THE SOIL AND AREA CREEKS ARE RESPONDING.
PERIODS OF HEAVY RAINFALL THIS MORNING WILL RESULT IN MORE RUNOFF."

LCRA Hydrologic gauges around Austin show almost two inches of rain at many spots in the past forty-eight hours. (Three to four inches seems to be the norm out in the hills.) And more rain is forecast through Saturday. Remains to be seen if this is the big one. But our droughts almost always end with floods.

MORE:  We’re unlikely, however, to get anywhere near the fifteen to eighteen inches we’d need to permanently end the drought, according to KVUE meteorologist Mark Murray. It will help green things up for spring.

The folly with Dolly

The New Braunfels office of the weather service is forecasting potentially heavy rains south of the rancho from Dolly’s inland track, starting Wednesday night into Thursday, although no one is sure what the track will be, specifically how far north of the mouth of the Rio Grande. All depends on the track and how big the storm is, certainly probably a hurricane when it goes ashore, but how fast will it fall apart after that? Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi (subsrcibers only) is ranting (as usual) at the hurricane center for allegedly missing Dolly’s actual location this morning, which could bring it ashore well north of Laguna Madre, in which case we could likely get a lot more rain.

UPDATE:  The Seablogger, presumably still enjoying his northeastern cruise, nevertheless has taken time out to predict a possibly severe Dolly striking as far north as Galveston! Pajamas has a nice roundup of views.

Blessed rain

Moisture in the upper atmosphere over the Bay of Campeche seems to be slipping into South Central Texas, thanks to a slight westward shift in the ridge that’s made Texas so brutally hot and dry this month. Sprinkles over the rancho a few minutes ago while I was sitting reading on the patio. Alas, it is not expected to linger, nor to bring us much rain, though northwestern parts of the Hill Country, such as Mason and Richland Springs, have had more than an inch, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority. At least it could lower the daily high temperatures ten to fifteen degrees. Maybe.

Wildfire danger

FireDanger.JPG

Meteorologists are saying our high winds, with gusts to 25 mph, bring back memories of the Dust Bowl era. I guess you’d have to be in your eighties to know for sure. But just being outside last evening, while Mr. B.’s tournament team practiced for its first game next week, I got a thin coating of dust. Got some in my eyes when I took my glasses off. Seen here, the Austin area is still in moderate fire danger, but high danger is creeping eastward towards us. The wind, the dry and the heatwave are combining to make it so.

Freeze and then some

Rats. Mr. B. and I were just at Lowe’s to pick up a replacement flapper for the one that’s leaking in the toilet in the guest bathroom, causing it to run and run. Now I discover we’re to have a freeze tonight and a deeper one tomorrow night. Don’t think I have enough covers for the outdoor faucets. Could have bought more at Lowe’s. Come to think of it, they had several big boxes of them arrayed up and down the center aisle near the registers. I wondered about it. Now I know why. Will have to use a towel for one or two faucets, I guess. Curiously enough, there’s also a possible brush fire warning from all the wind today. But, having little brush around the rancho, I believe we can just let that one go.

UPDATE: The freezes went okay, but I couldn’t get the toilet’s inflow shut off to fix the flapper. Something tells me something worse is going on. I called a plumber and await his ministrations.

MORE: He came, he tinkered, he resolved the problem with a new fill valve, wall shutoff and water hose. Said the flapper was okay all along. Problems that start out small have a way of becoming larger at the rancho. Sigh. 

The problem with toll roads: The signs

Toll roads are commonplace in other parts of the country but somewhat unusual down here. Which may help to explain how I got lost coming back from Temple the other day despite having driven the route for, oh, about thirty years, off and on. It would help if the signs weren’t so confusing. You hear that, TXDot?

I was on I-35 going south when I was offered the chance to take the new Texas 45 toll road that joins up with Mo-Pac Boulevard west of Austin which is near home. I paid my $1.50, figuring to beat the I-35 snarl that starts near Georgetown and continues well south of Austin. Everything was fine until the toll road suddenly divided. Left was another new toll road, Texas 130, which the sign said went to South Austin, and right was more Texas 45 west to Round Rock. It was confusing, and at 70 mph there wasn’t time to think. I knew I didn’t want to go to Round Rock, so I went left and soon had to pay another $1.50.

Fortunately, I almost ran out of gas, which meant I had to get off 130 to find a gas station. As it was I wound up at a station in Pflugerville, which is well east of Austin. It took a while to mentally adjust to being well out of the way of where I wanted to go. If I’d not had to stop for gas, I could have wound up well south of Austin, which is where 130 goes. As it was I only had to cut west across north Austin to find Mo-Pac, turn left and head home. Next time, I’ll know to skip Texas 130 altogether.

Wet weekend

The sunken car in Tulsa might not look so strange around here by Monday. The weather service is calling for likely rain, possibly heavy, tonight, Saturday and Sunday. Looks like our wet spring isn’t over yet. We have had some big floods in June. Are we about to repeat? Just spotty green amoebas on the radar so far. Can’t last. They’ve been wrong before, but not this wrong. Bob Rose has more.