Del Rio has tied five other years for the driest July on record, utilizing records from Del Rio International Airport dating as far back as 1906. During this July, the rain gauge at the Del Rio airport received no measurable precipitation, only recording trace amounts (less than 1/100th of an inch) on July 11th. No measurable rainfall has fallen at the Del Rio airport since June 24th.
This amount ties the July amounts recorded in the years 1951, 1953, 1956, 1957, and 1998. The normal rainfall amount for July in Del Rio is 1.78 inches.
However, the report of only trace precipitation can be deceiving, as there were several days - especially during the early-to-mid July - where thunderstorms were noted during the late afternoon and early evening hours within the Del Rio vicinity - some with briefly heavy rain. The rainfall total goes unreported officially, however, because it did not fall into, and was not reported from, an approved rain gauge. It is estimated, however, that monthly accumulations between 0.5 and 1 inch fell on the west side of Lake Amistad, as well as in isolated pockets along Sycamore Creek near Laughlin AFB.
Local citizens throughout the area report rainfall from approved rain gauges as part of the CoCoRaHS network. Here are a few of the reports for the month of July:
Alta Vista Area (Del Rio): Trace
Lake Ridge Ranch Area (Del Rio): No Accumulation
San Pedro Estates (Lake Amistad): 0.03 Inches
Langtry Area: 1.02 Inches
Carta Valley (Edwards County): 0.11 inches
Fort Clark (Kinney County): 0.09
It has been noted that El Niño summers, like this summer, tend to be more dry than average. Of the years listed previously in which this July tied for the driest on record, all but one year (1998) continued to record below-normal precipitation in August. 1998, however, introduced Tropical Storm Charley and the catastrophic flood of '98. Therefore, it is likely that drier than normal conditions will continue into August, although the late summer and early fall generally leads to increased rain potential.
The Del Rio airport has recorded a total of 13.26 inches this year, which is still above normal for a typical year up to this date.
STWX Strategic (Smalltown Weather, LLC) is an independent meteorology service based in Del Rio, Texas. Contact: (830) 313-6899