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Spring forecast drier, warmer and more violent

Image of state record hailstone dropped from a supercell storm that passed over Hondo on April 28, 2021
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Image of state record hailstone dropped from a supercell storm that passed over Hondo on April 28, 2021

The National Weather Service long-range spring forecast calls for a warmer and drier spring than usual for the San Antonio and Austin areas. It also promises to bring a higher number of violent storms.

Keith White of the National Weather Service Office in New Braunfels said weather patterns will likely produce less rain and flooding than usual from April to June. But he said the long-range forecast is signaling more severe weather ahead than usual, especially storms that could produce hail.

"In terms of severe weather, slightly above normal impact, especially over northern portions of our area and with respect to
hail, that certainly is the strongest signal," White said.

That means the forecast puts more of the violent weather over the Hill Country and Austin, but San Antonians still need to keep an eye on the sky this spring.

White reminds San Antonians of the state record hailstone that dropped out of a supercell passing over Hondo on April 28, 2021, with a diameter of more than 6 inches and a weight of more than 1 pound. White said the wettest and stormiest month for the San Antonio area is usually in May, according to weather records.

The long-term forecast means drought conditions are expected to worsen, making fire weather more likely too. Staving off new water restrictions and yellow yards now appear to be an uphill battle for San Antonians.

The City of New Braunfels recently announced the city of nearly 100,000 will soon be under Stage 2 water restrictions if rain does not fall in the days ahead. Under Stage 2 residents can only water once a week based on their street address, just like Stage 1, but the hours to water on those days are greatly reduced.

The City of San Antonio may be close behind its neighbor to the north. The 10-day average of the water level in the Edwards Aquifer on Wednesday stood at 651 feet. Stage 2 restrictions are also triggered in San Antonio then that average dips to 650-feet. San Antonio's Stage 2 water restrictions are similar to those in New Braunfels.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports severe drought conditions exist across Bexar County with extreme drought conditions in the extreme northwest tip of the county. The National Weather Service reported last week that San Antonio was nearly 4 inches behind its average rainfall total for the year-to-date.

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