As recent observations of stream flow and drought index data have revealed an increasingly alarming trend in the South Central Texas/Middle Texas Coast region, SABP has compiled the most recent data into a series of images illustrating the current status of drought conditions and stream flow, as well as salinity at TWDB’s “DELTA” water quality monitoring station in San Antonio Bay, near Seadrift, TX.
This information will be updated weekly. For more information contact: James Dodson, Program Facilitator/Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
San Antonio Bay Drought Watch
“In Texas, if the drought don’t get ya, the freeze will!”
Not sure I can name an author for that expression, so maybe I’ll just take credit for it. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
While we’ve certainly seen impacts from the ongoing drought, they have tended to be fairly subtle — maybe only obvious to those who have a direct economic stake in play (farmers, ranchers, water providers, etc.), or to those monitoring our aquatic ecosystems. However, I believe that the economic and environmental impacts of this current extreme weather event — now called “Winter Storm Uri” — [do they name these Winter Storms like hurricanes? — which would mean that there have been 20 named winter storms in the US this 2020-2021 season prior to this one!] will absolutely dwarf the impacts (to date) of this drought.
Already reports are coming in about the severe cold affecting some bird species, including waterfowl, and more particularly, impacting aquatic species along the Texas Coast, ranging from fish, including speckled trout (see article,) to sea turtles (see article). The impact of this event on Texas’ coastal ecosystems may unfold over a long period of time as the immediate effects cascade through various trophic levels. It will be interesting to see if the freezing event results in the widespread death of black mangroves, and, if so, what that means in terms of future shoreline loss in denuded areas.
I will monitor reports on these kinds of impacts of this event and compile a more extensive email with links to information on the effect of this event on Texas bays and estuaries, which I will send to everyone on the mailing list. Look for it sometime next week.
In the meantime, stay safe and warm. James