Weather Forecast for Texas: Extreme

Weather Forecast for Texas: Extreme

Westward Environmental, Inc. does much more than provide environmental and engineering products and services to our clients. Westward employees offer time, skills, and knowledge to their local communities by volunteering. One example is Westward employee David Knollhoff, who volunteers his time to Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District (CCGCD) commissioned in Kendall County, Texas. As a certified consulting meteorologist (CCM) as designated by the American Meteorological Society, David provides pro bono long-term weather forecasts and rainfall analyses to CCGCD on a monthly basis.

In fact, he has coined the term “drought with a chance of flash floods” as a broad description of what general weather patterns are like for those living in the Texas Hill Country. Weather patterns can be extreme in the 25 hilly counties that make up the region and the karst topography is reminiscent of Swiss cheese, with numerous caves, sinkholes, and underground streams.

The given weather pattern, as variable as it is, is highly dependent on several atmospheric factors located within the tropical region of the Pacific Ocean. The La Nina factor can bring droughts and the El Nino factor can bring floods, among other variations. Both can cause  extremes—long periods of insignificant rainfalls or short periods of excessive rainfalls.

So water availability in the Texas Hill Country is a huge issue, whether one is a city dweller dependent on public utilities or a county resident dependent on well water. Rightly then, development, pollution, resource conservation, population growth and water issues are given much attention where much attention is needed.

When drought strikes, the community as a whole suffers. David develops forecasts and analysis data to help CCGCD formulate their response to a drought. The data allows them to independently assess what level of water restriction is needed and for how long the restriction should last. Restriction helps mitigate the impact of drought. When rains return, restrictions are lifted. Restrictions are the norm here.