UT Wordmark Primary UT Wordmark Formal Shield Texas UT News Camera Chevron Close Search Copy Link Download File Hamburger Menu Time Stamp Open in browser Load More Pull quote Cloudy and windy Cloudy Partly Cloudy Rain and snow Rain Showers Snow Sunny Thunderstorms Wind and Rain Windy Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter email alert map calendar bullhorn

UT News

Rain and Research: Longhorns Working with Weather

UT Austin researchers are making the most of a rainy spring in Central Texas. Learn how Longhorns are working with the weather. 

Two color orange horizontal divider

Soaking rains this fall and winter paved the way for a great wildflower season this spring — and helped beautiful bluebonnets bloom across Texas. Then, school ended and the spring semester culminated on the Forty Acres with the class of 2015 celebrating commencement during a rainy weekend, and storms have continued to drench Austin.

But one group of UT researchers hasn’t had to cancel pool parties because of the weather — they knew it was coming.

Researchers in the Jackson School of Geosciences recently developed a better, more accurate way to forecast summer rainfall across Texas. They predict that most of the state has a greater than 90 percent probability of a wet summer this year.

The new model, which uses more localized data than larger-scale models have typically used to predict summer weather in Texas, is about 70 percent effective in predicting summer precipitation. The greater accuracy gives water providers and decision makers more time to prepare for potential droughts.

“Water is a tremendously important resource, and improving forecasting will only help in managing that resource,” says Jackson School of Geosciences Dean Sharon Mosher. “This is the type of science that will benefit people throughout the state and beyond.”

This picnic table is calling your name. #wildflowers #bluebonnets #getoutside #atx

A post shared by Wildflower Center (@wildflowercenter) on

Here’s a quick look at some of the other ways Longhorns are researching rain and working with weather:

Watch engineering students explain how a rain garden at a local elementary school is serving as a learning tool and a storm water infrastructure solution: