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Lake levels rise, but not enough to remove danger
by Bill Clough
Jul 28, 2013 | 1156 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies the top half of Bee County in moderate drought, the middle portion in severe drought and the extreme southwest of the county in extreme drought.

Above average temperatures and below-normal precipitation are forecast for South Texas through the end of the year, according to the U.S. Weather’s Bureau’s Climate Prediction Center.

Unless the area is visited by a tropical storm.

Historically, Bee County — as well as most counties in South Texas — depend on tropical activity to break droughts and to replenish water tables.

Heavier-than-normal precipitation starting in late May has seen a dramatic rise in water levels at Lake Corpus Christi, from 77 feet to almost 82 feet in a matter of weeks.

As of Thursday, the level was 81.43 feet, still more than 12 feet below what is called the lake’s “full pool.”

The agricultural community, therefore, is watching the progress of Dorian, off the coast of West Africa. Although it was 3,700 miles away from the Gulf Coast Thursday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, National Hurricane Center meteorologists are forecasting Dorian to remain a tropical storm through Tuesday afternoon.

A tropical storm is a system with maximum sustained winds of between 39 and 73 mph.

In a perfect, drought-suffering world, Dorian would continue its current path, crossing Florida and entering the Gulf Coast — but without developing into a more serious storm.

The ideal would be for Dorian to make landfall southwest of Corpus Christi, placing Beeville in the northeast quadrant of a tropical storm that produces copious amounts of rain without hurricane-force winds.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.
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