Potential rainfall this weekend significant for drought-stricken Llano and Burnet counties

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS

This photo from Aug. 8 shows how Town Lake in Llano has no overflow. Rains to the west along the river’s watershed could provide relief, but city officials will monitor the weather over the weekend and discuss possible action regarding current Stage 5 water-use restrictions at a special called meeting Aug. 13. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

This photo from Aug. 8 shows how Town Lake in Llano has no overflow. Rains to the west along the river’s watershed could provide relief, but city officials will monitor the weather over the weekend and discuss possible action regarding current Stage 5 water-use restrictions at a special called meeting Aug. 13. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

LLANO — Rain overnight Aug. 9-10 provided a respite from a run of very hot days in the Highland Lakes.

Chances are high that the rains will continue through the weekend to provide relief from worsening drought conditions.

In Llano, where low river flows have forced the city to implement Stage 5 of its drought contingency plan, rainfall in town and to the west is being monitored.

“It’s still too early to tell,” said City Manager Scott Edmondson. “It will probably be a few days (before we know) because it’s been so droughty.”

A special called City Council meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, in council chambers at City Hall, 301 W. Main St., to discuss further steps.

Rains to the west in Mason and Junction help Llano River inflows the most. As of noon Aug. 10, more than 3 inches had fallen near Mason and 1.1 inches were recorded in Junction, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Llano’s chances for rain continue through Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. New rainfall amounts from a quarter-inch to a half-inch are possible Aug. 10-11 with the forecast calling for a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Sunday’s chance of precipitation is 70 percent with a high near 89 degrees. Monday’s high is forecast for 91 degrees with a 60 percent chance of rain.

Grenwelge Park in Llano had no water flow from the city’s dam Aug. 8. Water flow is minimal along the Llano River, which is the city’s source for water. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

Grenwelge Park in Llano had no water flow from the city’s dam Aug. 8. Water flow is minimal along the Llano River, which is the city’s source for water. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

Burnet, so far, has received a few-hundredths of an inch of precipitation. The weekend outlook calls for similar highs and chances for rain as Llano. Marble Falls’s forecast also calls for highs near 90 and 50-70 percent rain chances through Sunday with a dip to 40 percent on Monday.

The potential for a weekend full of rain is significant for much of the Highland Lakes. According to the United States Drought Monitor, the southern half of Burnet County is in moderate drought and the northern half in severe drought. For Llano County, the eastern edge is in severe drought with the remaining county in extreme drought.

In just one week, the amount of Llano County in extreme drought has grown from 23.4 percent to 68 percent. That is why the city of Llano has implemented its most stringent water-use restrictions. After Monday’s special meeting to evaluate the city’s water situation, officials will know more.

jared@thepicayune.com

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