Austin weather: Expected heavy rain unlikely to curb drought, water restrictions

Central Texas is gearing up for a deluge of rain on Thursday, Oct. 25. It's a welcome sight for many of us.

"There’s going to be some heavy rain, probably the heaviest rain we've seen in parts of the area in a long time," said FOX 7 Chief Meteorologist Scott Fisher.

With flooding possible in many spots, it begs the question: could this bring an end to our drought? Or at least take a bite out of it?

"It can help. It stops the decline, and it has bumped up a little bit," said Kevin Kluge, Water Conservation Manager with Austin Water.

Kluge says the key is where the rain falls.

"The rain we see in the metro area," said Kluge. "That doesn't mean that our reservoirs like in Lake Travis are increasing. What we need is the rains upstream of us up in the hill country to really replenish those reservoirs."

In fact, Fisher says we’d need dozens of storms like this to really make a big difference.

"We need feet of water—10, 15, 20, 40, 50 feet of water—to really get Lake Travis, Lake Buchanan where they need to be," said Fisher.

Right now, Lake Travis is just 35% full. Lake Buchanan is at 45%.

"We hope it's leveling off now with some of these recent rains," said Kluge.

Those two lakes need to be at least around half full in order for Austin to get out of Stage 2 drought restrictions, which we’ve been under since August.

"I think we will remain under these same restrictions until April or May. And then hopefully it will get the good rains. If we don't, then it becomes more serious," said Kluge. "Last time we were in stage two, back in 2012, we were in stage two for about three years."

But fisher says there is a bit of good news when it comes to the drought.

"The El Niño may actually be kicking in, in a big way, and we may be experiencing more storms and more potential storms like this over the next couple of months," said Fisher.

You can monitor current lake levels here.