Excessive rain in Texas this spring means Texans *might* just get to enjoy the summer for the first time in over three freaking years.
Torrential rains that led to flash flooding in some parts of the state of Texas this year caused all kinds of havoc, including the near-drowning of 31 horses on a ranch outside Abilene. (Don’t worry, they were rescued). Although, the rain was needed, since the Texas drought has been ongoing since 2011.
Once the rains abated, we all shook the water out of our ears, toweled ourselves off, and stumbled outside amongst the sudden crop of mushrooms in our front yards. For the first time in years, there is water in the rivers and lakes, so naturally people immediately started asking an obvious question:
So, how soon before we can go tubing?
Unsurprisingly, meteorologists aren’t entirely certain of an answer to that question.
Unreliable weathermen aside, the record drought that began in 2011 seems to have finally been quenched due to the weather phenomenon El Niño. The Pacific weather anomaly tends to bring heavy rainfall to the southwestern United States, and this year it did not disappoint.
Much of Texas has been under a drought for the past three years, as classified by the U.S. Drought Monitor, but this year Texas received more rain from January through April of 2015 than it did for all of 2011.
That was a difficult summer to endure. It was hot as Hell. There were very few bluebonnets. A stringent burn ban outlawed fireworks and made Independence Day boring.
Worse than the heat though was the loud and incessant complaining from boaters unable to use the boat ramps at Lake Travis in Austin (due to low lake levels).
In all seriousness though, 2011 was very hard. Crops and livestock died, and the most devastating wildfire in the state’s history decimated Texas’s legendary Lost Pines and took the lives of two people.
I think we’re all glad that summer is behind us. Texas’s reservoirs are 77% full right now, as opposed to 58% four years ago. That gets us out of the woods, but it could still be better, so hands off, California.
While you wait for a sunny day to throw on your sadly unused swimsuit and float down the Guadalupe or the Frio with a beer in hand, don’t forget flooding causes rivers to swell and rush, so even though it seems counterintuitive, you’ll need to wait for the rivers to go down a bit before tubing.
A safe river float does not generally include barreling through the water at 50 miles per hour and smashing into rocks and trees. While you’re waiting on that, just do as Luke Bryan would do and remind yourself that rain is a good thing.