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Burn Bans/Drought/Fires/Water Supply

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through May 1

April 19 – With a unanimous vote, the Harris County Commissioners Court imposed a 90-day burn ban amid severe drought conditions.
The Houston Chronicle, Matt Morris, April 18, 2011

April 21 – A burn ban on all outdoor burning already in place in Cameron County was extended a day after dry conditions sparked two fires in the county.
The Brownsville Herald, Laura Martinez, April 21, 2011


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, April 5, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor, April 26, 2011

April 4 – No significant rainfall in the Brazos Valley has forced the US Drought Monitor to place the area under exceptional drought, as part of more than 40 percent of Texas categorized as extreme drought.
Corpus Christi Caller, Steven Alford, April 4, 2011

April 8 – According to the National Weather Service, this past October through March was the driest October through March on record for Brazos County.
WTAW AM News, Bill Oliver, April 8, 2011

April 12 – The amount of precipitation picked up during the month of April will be pivotal for determining the severity of the current drought in the Metroplex.
Lewisville Leader, Chris Roark, April 12, 2011

April 13 –The the Brazos Valley has been designated as being in an exceptional drought and local farmers in need of rain continue to pray for it. 
KBTX News, Michael Oder, April 13, 2011

April 14 – Drought conditions in Caldwell have driven residents to set up a rally to pray for rain on the footsteps of the Burleson County Courthouse. 
KBTX News, Cody Lillich, April 14, 2011

April 14 – According to the National Weather Service in El Paso, the area has not seen rain in 70 days making it the 5th driest stretch on record. 
KFOX 14 News, Miri Marchall, April 14, 2011

April 14 – Grimes, Brazos, Madison Washington, and Walker counties are now classified as being in an exceptional drought, leaving the area with the worst drought conditions in the entire country. 
The Examiner, Scott McDonald, April 14, 2011

April 18 – The National Weather Service announced that the current November through April period is the driest such period since 1925.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Alyssa Dizon, April 18, 2011

April 20 – Drought conditions in Bulverde are expected to persist throughout the summer and conditions ripe for wildfires are expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future. 
San Antonio Express News, Eric Weilbacher, April 20, 2011

April 22 – Texas Governor Rick Perry asked residents of the state of Texas to pray for rain to help relieve drought conditions and control some of the wildfires that have been burning across the state.
KWTX News, April 22, 2011

April 26 – Although small amounts of rain might help control fires in the Panhandle, future precipitation will do little for the poor condition of local vegetation. 
KVII News, Matt Hamilton, April 26, 2011

April 26 – Current drought conditions are being blamed for a series of power outages at oil refineries in Texas City. 
FOX 26 News, Pattie Sheih, April 26, 2011

April 26 – The Midland City Council has decided to revisit the current drought contingency plan for the area and e what to curtail the amount of water usage. 
Midland Reporter Telegram, Kathleen Thurber, April 26, 2011


April 2 – Several small grass fires have been reported in Nolan and Jones counties, including one that threatened four homes just west of Hawley.
Abilene Reporter News, Celinda Emison, April 2, 2011

April 3 – High winds, dry air, and warm temperatures helped a grow a grass fire in the South Plains that threatened 20 homes and forced the closure of U.S. 84 between Post and Justiceburg.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Adam Young, April 3, 2011

April 5 – A lightning strike at the Sabine Salt Water Disposal plant destroyed three salt water oil tanks.
Kilgore News Herald, Aaron May, April 5, 2011

April 7 – Officials in Central Texas are doing as much research as possible about wildfires and how they destroy homes to help protect residents during this season’s drought. 
KVUE News, Jim Bergamo, April 7, 2011

April 9 – Officials say that a fire on the Cotton Ranch is finally under control, but only after burning 3,000 acres of land. 
San Angelo Standard Times, Denise Morris, April 9, 2011

April 9 – Several highways and roads across Brewster, Jeff Davis, and Presidio counties were closed because of wildfires that were out of control. 
Apine Avalanche, Cindy Perry, April 9, 2011

April 11 – Officials in Brownsville are asking residents to remove and clear brush left over from a freeze that happened February to avoid possible fire hazards during the current drought.
The Brownsville Herald, Jacqueline Armendariz, April 11, 2011

April 13 – Officials in Pecos County say that several small, medium, and large fires just south of I-10 have already burned 16,000 acres. 
CBS 7 News, Beau Berman, April 13, 2011

April 15 – A massive wildfire in Abilene forced the evacuation of people from their homes in the small town of Rotan. 
WFAA News, April 15, 2011

April 16 – The Guadalupe County Fire Marshall in Seguin pleaded with residents to use caution with the extremely high fire danger in the area. 
Seguin Gazette, Felicia Frazar, April 16, 2011

April 17 – Fires in an area of wooded terrain 70 miles west of Fort Worth in Palo Pinto County destroyed 31 homes and continued to threaten several more. 
Austin American Statesman, AP, April 17, 2011

April 17 – The Wildcat Fire that has destroyed nearly 130,000 acres is currently only about 10% contained. 
San Angelo Standard Times, Denise Morris, April 17, 2011

April 17 – Currently, 230 fires are burning in Texas and in only one week, nearly one million acres of land was burned. 
KTXS News, Casey James, April 17, 2011

April 23 – The Texas Forest Service says that the Wildcat Fire that has burned nearly 160,000 acres and is nearly 75% contained. 
San Agelo Standard Times, Staff, April 23, 2011

April 23 – Smoke from fires burning in Mexico and across the state have caused many spectacular billow and wave clouds. 
San Antonio Express News, Forrest Mims, April 23, 2011

April 29 – The smoke from fires burning in San Angelo could be seen to the north in Abilene because of a strong southerly wind. 
Abilene Reporter News, Hafiz Rashid, April 29, 2011

Water Supply

April 3 – Hundreds of residents attended the 2nd Annual River Ramble and Family Clean Water Festival in Central Texas to learn more about water conservation amid the current drought conditions. 
KVUE News, Staff, April 3, 2011

April 8 – Authorities on the Gulf Coast have decided to purchase water during the current drought to help keep reserves full.
The Daily News, T.J. Aulds, April 8, 2011

April 13 – The city of San Marcos has followed the lead of San Antonio and decided to put water restrictions in place because of the drought.
KVUE News, Steve Alberts, April 13, 2011

April 13 – Sam Rayburn Lake is nearly 8 feet below normal because of the current drought.
KYTX News, April 13, 2011

April 16 – The Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District has officially imposed stage 4 drought restrictions.
The Boerne Star, Dave Pasley, April 16, 2011

April 18 – Fisherman in Somerville say that the lack of rain is a good thing, only because it has led to great fishing in Lake Somerville this year. 
KBTX News, Alex Villarreal, April 18, 2011

April 19 – If drought conditions continue, the city of San Antonio says that Stage 2 water restrictions will have to be put in place. 
KENS News, Staff, April 19, 2011

April 20 – The Lower Colorado River Authority has announced that the flow of water from streams and creeks over the past six months is the lowest it has ever been. 
Austin American Statesman, Asher Price, April 20, 2011

April 21 – Current drought conditions have Lake Travis sitting just 46 feet higher than the lowest level it has ever been. 
KVUE News, Steve Alberts, April 21, 2011

April 22 – Only a tenth of an inch rain has fallen in Midland since October and now the city has decided to impose water restrictions to try and save water. 
The Texas Tribune, Kate Galbraith, April 22, 2011

April 22 – The city of Kyle implemented watering restrictions because of the current drought.
KXAN News, April 22, 2011

April 28 – The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District has declared it is under a Stage 2 Alarm Drought, meaning that all users of the must abide by their User Drought Contingency Plan. 
KXAN News, Calily Bien, April 28, 2011

April 30 – Midland, San Angelo, and Abilene are all partnering together to find a long-term water source that all of the West Texas cities could share. 
San Angelo Standard Times, Kiah Collier, April 30, 2011

April 30 – New Braunfels city officials say that the Edwards Aquifer is very close to the 650 foot level used to trigger Stage 2 water restrictions.
New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, Staff, April 30, 2011

Agricultural Impacts

April 2 – The current drought conditions are stunting crop growth and delaying planting leaving farmers worried that the drought might threaten the entire 2011 harvest across the entire state.
Kilgore News Herald, Robert Burns, April 2, 2011 

April 8 – The Young’s Orchard and Berry Farm says their peach crop is looking weak because of all the cold weather the area had this past winter. 
Wichita Falls Times Reord News, Kristen Duwe, April 8, 2011

April 11 – Drought conditions in the Concho Valley continue to negatively affect crops in the area.
San Angelo Standard Times, Jerry Lackey, April 11, 2011

April 12 – Any hope that farmers in South Texas had of a successful crop has now been destroyed by the current drought.
San Antonio Express News, William Pack, April 12, 2011

April 15 – Texas cotton farmers are bracing for a difficult year, which is disappointing because record high cotton prices have made it an extremely profitable crop in the current economy.
KCBD News, Staff, April 15, 2011

April 18 – As is the case with cotton, cattle producers are facing a grim outlook due to the ongoing drought in the midst of record high cattle prices
KETK News, Staff, April 18, 2011

April 18 – North Texas orchards that were hard hit by the past winter’s numerous freezes are currently dealing with widespread grass fires.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Judith McGinnis, April 18, 2011

April 20 – In West Texas, the current drought is being called by some as the worst since 1917 and the wildfire season may be the worst ever.
San Angelo Standard Times, Jerry Lackey, April 20, 2011

April 20 – A combination of wildfires and extreme heat this April has left cattle across the state with very little vegetation and feed.
KXAN News, Jacqueline Ingles, April 20, 2011

April 25 – Winter wheat productivity in Texas is expected to be the lowest since 2006, though the percentage of the crop in “very poor” condition is less than in both 2006 and 2009.
San Angelo Standard Times, Jerry Lackey, April 25, 2011

April 27 – The current drought will cause a substantial crop loss for Southeast Texas farmers unless there is an infusion of soil moisture through rainfall in the near future.
KHOU News, Alex Sanz, April 27, 2011

April 28 – Dry land crops face serious threat this season as this year’s drought in the Panhandle may be the worst in the past 100 years.
FOX 34 News, Chase Thomason, April 28, 2011

April 29 – Ranchers in the Rio Grande Valley have been forced to supplementally feed cattle with little to no rainfall received in the past 8 months.
Action 4 News, Katie Lackey, April 29, 2011

Inclement Weather

Cold/ Winter Weather

April 3 – The lack of two-a-day weather balloon launches near Houston may be one of the reasons reason forecasters did a poor job of forecasting snow in the Houston area in early February.
Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger, April 3, 2011

April 7 – As El Pasoans began turning on their air conditioners they are finding broken swamp cooler pipes that were caused during this winter’s large winter storm. 
KFOX 14, Jacob Rascon, April 7, 2011


April 10 – The Santa Ana wildlife refuge is still recovering from flooding that damaged the area during Hurricane Alex.
The Monitor, Elizabeth Findell, April 10, 2011


April 1 – Officials in Temple are reminding residents that during the summer months leaving a child in a car can be fatal to the child. 
KWTX News, Molly MacEwan, April 1, 2011

April 2 – The National Weather Service in El Paso says that a new high temperature record was set when the high for the day reached 90 degrees, breaking the old record of 87 set back in 1946.
KFOX 14 News, Miri Marshall, April 2, 2011

Severe Weather

April 4 – A line of thunderstorms in Central Texas brought hail, rain, wind and lightning.
KXAN News, Jackie Vega, April 4, 2011

April 11 – Forecasters with the National Weather Service in North Texas classified a tornado as EF-1 after it smashed homes, buildings, and a hotel.
WFAA News, Staff, April 11, 2011

April 15 – Winds as high as 80 mph and tennis ball sized hail hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area during a late night storm. 
The Dallas Morning News, Staff, April 15, 2011

April 16 – An EF-0 Tornado ripped through Fannin County bringing with winds topping 85 mph.
WFAA News, Steve Stoler, April 16, 2011

April 21 – A severe thunderstorm that formed over Fisher County produced a tornado and large hail in the Abilene area.
Abilene Reporter News, Greg Kendall-Ball, April 21, 2011

April 24 – Several severe thunderstorms went through Abilene dropping 4.5 inch hailstones and more than 2 inches of rain.
Abilene Reporter News, Greg Kendall-Ball, April 24, 2011

April 25 – Golf balled sized hail was just one of the many weather elements that hit the Dallas area during a recent storm, which also brought heavy rain, frequent lightning, and damaging winds.
KDFW News, Kenin Boie, April 25, 2011

April 27 – Tornado sirens were used to warn residents in Waco of a severe storm that produced damaging hail and winds. 
KWTX News, Brent Taylor, April 27, 2011

April 30 – Morning showers were to blame for the sporadic power outages across Texas City. 
The Daily News, Hayley Kappes, April 30, 2011

Other Climate Impacts

Animals/Aquatic Life

April 24 –This year’s current drought might leave Texas waterfowl without a place to call home. 
The Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, April 24, 2011


April 5 – Livestock farmers in Texoma that are being forced to feed cattle instead of letting them graze are now able to collect benefits on Texas USDA insured livestock. 
KTEN News, Jennifer French, April 5, 2011

April 14 – Businesses across the Guadalupe River are expecting a dry season this summer because of current drought conditions and lack of water in the river. 
KXAN News, Natalie Stoll, April 14, 2011

April 25 – Baseball sized hail has that fell in Abilene has left many car owners with a large bill.
KTXA News, Jacqueline Hince, April 25, 2011

April 28 – The worst drought in 20 years has hit the El Paso area, causing ranchers to charge a higher price for cattle. 
KFOX 14 News, Lauren Rozyla, April 28, 2011

April 29 – Hotels in Abilene are filling up with claim adjusters that will help assess the damage to homes and cars after a large hail storm hit the area. 
Abilene Reporter News, Jaime Adame, April 29, 2011


April 1 – The Brenham/Washington County Convention Center and Visitors Bureau blames the current drought for keeping wildflowers from reaching their full potential. 
The Houston Chronicle, Kathy Huber, April 1, 2011

April 8 – Although the drought has made it hard for wildfires to grow this spring there is still hope that over the summer the blooms with show. 
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, April 8, 2011

April 10 – Botanists in Central Texas predicts that this year’s wildflower season will happen later this year than normal. 
Austin American Statesman, Michael Barnes, April 10, 2011

April 24 – Experts in Lubbock say that drought conditions have not stopped wildflowers from showing up across the area. 
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Adam Young, April 24, 2011


April 2 – Golf course officials in North Texas say that this winter’s harsh storms took a toll on course grasses and now the lack of rain has slowed the growing process.
NBC 5 News, Julie Tam, April 2, 2011

April 27 – Golf superintendents, greens keepers, and managers say that the lack of rainfall has forced them to use sodium filled irrigated water which is negatively affecting the turf. 
San Antonio Express News, Richard Oliver, April 27, 2011


April 1 – Some San Antonio drivers woke up to roadways covered in a morning fog, which led to several minor accidents.
San Antonio Express News, Guillermo Garcia, April 1, 2011

April 4 – Rain is to blame for a recent two-vehicle accident that sent three people to the hospital in Lufkin.
Lufkin Daily News, Jessica Cooley, April 4, 2011

April 15 – Experts warn that as winds kick up and the drought worsens, remote county roads could become dangerous for driving.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, April 15, 2011

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