Showers welcome, but drought drudges on
Things have been worse where drought is concerned, and the spotty showers this past weekend were especially welcomed for our parched landscape. But no one is calling off the drought warning or telling people to crank up the lawn sprinklers.
In our semi-arid environment, it is normal for us to receive far less rainfall than our Texas brethren east of Interstate 35. But this year’s heat and lack of rainfall was beginning to feel like shades of 2011, a year in which Gillespie County only received 11 inches of rain total. (The average rainfall for the year tops 27 inches here.)
To date, Gillespie has received close to the 11 inches, but that still puts us behind the average as we enter the sweltering “dog days” of summer.
As we reported last week, hay crops will likely be sparse and producers will either pay higher prices and resort to supplemental feed or lighten their livestock load and head to the auction barn. Fortunately, beef prices remain decent historically for those who decide to sell, but a rush in supply will only drive that down.
Water levels in our aquifers also are concerning levels, approaching those of the worst times of the 2011 drought.
We are grateful the city has reasonable water schedules for those of us in town. We certainly don’t want to waste this precious resource on turfgrass when there are larger concerns.
In the meantime, pray for rain. – K.E.C.
Rainfall averages 27.45 inches a year.
Temperatures range from an average high of 95 degrees in July to an average low of 36 degrees in January.
The growing season typically lasts 219 days. -From the Texas Almanac.