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November delivered more rain than usual to Austin, but not enough to shake the drought

A "Vote" sign, bent over by stormy weather, outside a polling place
Michael Minasi
A storm rolls into Austin on the last day of early voting, Nov. 4

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It's been a wet November in Central Texas, with cold, rainy days through the week of the Thanksgiving holiday. That weather might have affected your plans, but was a welcome break from continuing drought.

It was also another unusual twist in what has shaped up to be a weird year in local weather.

November is not known for heavy rainfall in Austin. The month averages a respectable 2.7 inches of precipitation in a normal year. This year was different, with around 4.1 inches recorded at Austin’s Camp Mabry weather station by Nov. 28.

That above-average accumulation helped make up for some of the rainfall deficit we’ve had this fall. It also continues a quirk in the weather this year, in which drier months like February and August have delivered more rainfall than what are normally our wettest months: May, June and October.

But it wasn’t enough to lift the region from a continued drought.

“Definitely it looks like it was wet during the month of November,” Orlando Bermudez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, said. “But when it comes to the bigger picture, we're still way below those [rain] numbers for the year."

On an average year, Austin gets more than 35 inches of rain. This year, Bermudez says, the city is still running a deficit of about 9 inches with only one month left. That means recent rain won’t be enough to refill area reservoirs, some of which are less than half full at the moment.

Bermudez says the long term forecast also suggests a hotter and drier winter than usual, thanks to a persistent La Niña weather pattern.

Mose Buchele focuses on energy and environmental reporting at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele.
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