What is in this article?:
- Tropical rains headed to Texas
- Drought relief on its way, one way or another?
A tropical storm system is barreling out of the Gulf with a landfall impact expected on the upper Mexican coast that could bring beneficial rains to Deep South Texas this weekend and early next week
Drought relief on its way, one way or another?
He and others argue that when tropical rains saturate the Mexican mountains, the water is going to flow downhill and back to the Rio Grande to replenish reservoirs anyway because Mexican reservoirs are either already full of near full.
"They are relying on Mother Nature to pay their water debt so they don't have to take water out of their reservoirs," one rancher complained, a development correctly predicted earlier this year. Nearly tenth months into the year, Texas officials claim Mexico still owes them millions of gallons of water.
With potentially heavy flooding possible across the mountains of Mexico as a result of the current tropical storm threat, Valley water officials are at least hopeful the runoff into the Rio Grande will help relieve critically low lake levels at both Amistad and Falcon Lake reservoirs. In a best case scenario, ample tropical rains could persuade Mexican officials to release additional water as part of their treaty debt, furthering recharge efforts at Rio Grande reservoirs.
But NWS forecaster Goldsmith warns that not all that glitters is gold. He warns South Texas farmers and ranchers that while the year has been extensively dry, Sept. has so far proven to be the wettest month. Already this month Brownsville has received 6.33 inches of rain, Los Fresnos has received 3.69 inches, McAllen has received 3.25 inches and Harlingen has received a little 2.5 inches.
With 4 to 7 inches of rain possible between now and mid-week, he is alerting ranchers with cattle on farmland that they may have to move them to higher ground if pastures have already been saturated during the past few weeks. In addition, where field conditions allow, last remnants of the Valley cotton harvest are underway in a race with the approaching weather system.
As with most coastal storm systems though, the greatest threat to South Texas remains along the coastline where elevated tides and surf will cause eroding conditions and low-lying fields and orchards could be inundated. High surf and riptide conditions will exist and marine warnings have already been issued. But for the most part, the farm and ranch community of the Valley say they are ready for beneficial rain showers and most are even looking forward to the event with anticipation of relieving moisture that could provide some benefit for next year's crop.
The NWS warns residents of Deep South Texas to take time to clear drainage ditches and canals of cut grasses and other debris that could clog flood drainage systems. Rural residents should be prepared to move livestock out of low lying areas to higher ground by Monday. Flash flood watches are expected later this weekend and into the new week.