Showers and thunderstorms that swept through Austin over the weekend added nearly an inch of rainfall to the summer’s below-average totals, National Weather Service meteorologists said.
Austin has had a particularly dry summer so far, seeing lower rainfall amounts than what is typically recorded, said meteorologist Ethan Williams.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s weather station has recorded 5.72 inches of rainfall since May 1, and rain gauges at Camp Mabry have notched 11.05 inches, meteorologists said. Normally, 11.78 inches of rain fall at the airport and 11.37 inches at Camp Mabry during the same time period, Williams said.
That puts the airport about 6 inches behind normal, with Camp Mabry lagging by about three-tenths of an inch.
Over the weekend, 0.61 of an inch of rain was recorded by gauges at the airport, Williams said. Camp Mabry had 0.32.
Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 13, gauges at the airport have recorded 14.22 inches of rain. They typically record 21.39 inches by this time, Williams said.
“We’re still, for this time of year, a little below average for the airport,” he said. “The rain that happened over the weekend definitely helped.”
Williams attributed the low rainfall amounts this summer to a high-pressure system that brought dry air to the area.
The weekend’s more than a half-inch of rain could have an impact on easing the area’s drought, Williams said, but it is still a little too early to tell how significant it will be. Moderate drought conditions for Austin developed over the summer, and any rain can help alleviate the parched landscape.
Dry areas in the Hill Country are definitely going to see some improvement after 12 inches of rain fell in some parts, Williams said.
“Certainly out west in the Hill Country, the weekend’s rain will definitely have an impact. I can pretty much guarantee it’ll have an impact,” he said.
Chances of showers and thunderstorms will remain low for the next seven days, Williams said. At most, a 10 percent chance of rainy weather will hold through the week, but odds could drop to around 5 percent. Temperatures are expected to hover between highs in the upper 90s and lows in the upper 70s with mostly sunny skies.
“Weather is very chaotic and sporadic,” Williams said. “It can be difficult.”