Spring and summer might be wetter and cooler than usual
Spring 2023 is expected to be wetter and the summer cooler than either season last year — maybe even wetter and cooler than normal — according to Lower Colorado River Authority Chief Meteorologist Bob Rose.
Rose presented his predictions to the LCRA Board of Directors during its Planning and Public Policy Committee meeting, which followed the regular board meeting and the Transmission Services Corp. meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Austin.
A La Niña weather pattern creates warm and dry weather across the southern United States, covering the entire state of Texas in its scope. The current La Niña is in its third year, an unusually long time for the pattern to hang around.
All signs point to La Niña slowing down and coming to an end in the spring, giving way to its opposite, El Niño, in the fall. An El Niño weather pattern creates a wetter, cooler jet stream across the southern United States in the same place La Niña blew it dry.
According to Rose, key points of his spring-into-summer outlook include:
- La Niña ending in March or April;
- a neutral Pacific weather pattern developing in late spring and lasting through summer;
- near-normal to below-normal rain forecast in March;
- and near-normal to slightly above-normal rain forecast from April through June.
Best of all: This summer is not expected to be as hot or as dry as summer 2022.
“For our area, this is good news,” Rose said. “It means more rain, although it could also mean more floods, too. Things should start changing later this year.”
Rose provided several facts about last year’s weather in Central Texas:
- The average summer temperature was 3.4 degrees above normal.
- It was the second-hottest summer on record, behind 2011.
- All of 2022 was the 13th driest year on record with rainfall measured at 5.5 inches below normal. The year of the last major year-long drought, 2011, was the second driest with rainfall at 12.38 inches below normal.