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Energy & Environment

Central Texas Could Get Much-Needed Rains This Weekend From A Brewing Tropical Storm

Up to three inches of rain will be possible in the Austin area over the weekend, just enough to reverse a drought.
National Weather Service
Up to three inches of rain will be possible in the Austin area over the weekend, just enough to reverse a drought.

This week, when Travis County Commissioners voted to enact a “burn ban” in response to dry conditions, Fire Marshal Tony Callaway said there could be an added bonus to approving the measure.

“Normally, if we put a burn ban in place, we do receive the rain,” he chuckled, “so that’s one positive way of looking at this.”

It was a joke, of course. But this time it might prove correct.

Forecasters say a weather system forming in the Gulf of Mexico will likely make landfall as a tropical storm in Texas this Saturday. Right now, South Texas is expected to get the brunt of that storm. But it could still bring up to three inches of rain to some parts of Central Texas over the weekend.

That should reverse the drought that’s started spreading in the region.

“It certainly will provide some relief,” says Ethan Williams, a meteorologist with the national weather service. “We're only looking for beneficial rains right now. No other threats or hazards are expected at this time.”

If it comes, it will be the first significant rainfall the region has seen in about a month.

“Closer to the I-35 corridor there are some areas that are labeled abnormally dry and starting to enter into moderate drought,” said Williams.

Storm-related cloud cover could also bring cooler weather while it stays around. But, Williams says, when the sun comes back, Central Texas may be in for some humid days with a high heat index.

Got a tip? Email Mose Buchele at mbuchele@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele

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