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Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through May 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, April 1, 2014
U.S. Drought Monitor, April 29, 2014

Growing Concern Surrounds low Water at North Texas Lakes—Lake Lavon is nearly 12 feet below normal water levels, and this has cities and lakeside businesses worried. Low water levels have cities that feed on the lake at stage 3 water restrictions, and the Collin Park Marina has moved the dock further away from shoreline to account for the drop in water levels.
WFAA News, Sebastian Roberson, April 7, 2014

Drought Now Affecting Two Thirds of Texas—A new report by the Texas Water Development Board states that two thirds of the state is suffering from some form of drought condition. Over 25% of the state is at extreme drought or worse with the northern portions of the state getting hit the hardest.
The Houston Chronicle, Carrie Taylor, April 7, 2014

Nocona Inches Towards a Stage 6 Drought—If Lake Nocona drops 10 more inches then the city will be required to move to stage six water restrictions. This will ban all outdoor water except for the city football field for safety reasons. City officials are hoping to change the laws to reflect modern supplies since drought conditions were drafted in the 1950s.
KAUZ News, Taylor Barnes, April 8, 2014

Only 3 Texas Counties Exist Outside a Drought-Related Natural Disaster Area—Of Texas’s 252 counties, 240 have been in drought long enough to be classified as federal disaster zones making them eligible for federal assistance. Of the 12 not included, 9 are listed as contiguous counties, which also makes them eligible for assistance.
The Houston Chronicle, Carol Christian, April 25, 2014

Water Supply

Drought-Like Conditions Require Voluntary Water Schedules—A recent request by Governor Rick Perry asking citizens to conserve water has prompted the city of Sugar Land to implement Stage 1 drought restrictions. These are voluntary restrictions in order to help conserve water as the drought continues.
The Fort Bend Herald, April 3, 2014

Will Spring Showers Ease Abilene’s Water Restrictions?—Recent rainfall has provided some relief to parched grasses in Abilene, but the director of Abilene’s Water utilities says that it is not enough to ease water restrictions. Lake Fort Phantom would need to rise 3 more feet before conservation is reduced. Abilene has been under once a week lawn watering regulations since 2011.
KTXS News, Chelsea Humphrey, April 8, 2014

Recent Rain Fills Lake Tyler, Levels better than Ever—In 2012 Lake Tyler was 7.5 feet below normal, but after the recent rainfall the lake is one foot above the spillway. This has locals rejoicing over the ample rainfall and fishermen ready to hit the lake again.
KETK News, Teresa Sardina, April 9, 2014

Water Levels at Lake Alan Henry Dropping Four Feet a Year—The Panhandle is getting hit hard by the drought, and if rain doesn’t come soon more water restrictions will be on the way. Lake Alan Henry is one of many sources of Lubbock’s water, and right now it is at 63% capacity.
KCBD News, Shaley Sanders, April 9, 2014

Drought Forces Another Cut in Pumping from Edwards Aquifer—The Edwards Aquifer Authority called for regional users to cut water consumption as stage 3 restrictions take effect. The restrictions call for cutback increases from 30% per customer to 35% per customer.
The San Antonio Express News, Scott Huddleston, April 10, 2014

San Marcos Returns to Stage 3 Water Restrictions—On April 20 the city of San Marcos will return to stage 3 water restrictions. This will limit outdoor watering and prohibits filling pools or using decorative fountains.
KTBC News, April 10, 2014

Rain Doesn’t Guarantee Rising Lake Levels—If Lake Buchanan drops a few more feet it will reach a record low, and as of today it sits 23 feet below normal. This is hurting businesses along the lake, and any rain that falls is a welcome sight. Still, the rain needs to fall in the Highland Lakes watershed to be useful for water supply.
KXAN News, Kevin Schwaller, April 22, 2014


Crews Battle Stubborn Wind-Whipped Wildfire—Fire departments from all across Bell County joined together to fight a wildfire just outside of Fort Hood on Tuesday evening. A wind advisory was in place during the fire, meaning that wind gusts of over 40 mph were occurring. Combined with the rugged terrain, this made fighting the fire more difficult.
KWTX News, Randy Davis, April 8, 2014

Agricultural Impacts

Lubbock Wells Run Dry as Cotton Irrigation Starts—Many homeowners north of Lubbock have run out of water as the cotton irrigation season starts. These wells are not as deep as the wells drilled by farmers, so when high usage of water from the farmers begins, all of the water drains to the lowest point in the Ogallala Aquifer, leaving many high and dry for months at a time.
The San Antonio Express News, April 27, 2014

Inclement Weather

Cold/Winter Weather

Freeze Warning in Effect Overnight—Tonight a freeze warning is in effect as lows will drop near 30 degrees in Hunt County. This will set up the possibility for a frost overnight.
The Herald-Banner, Brad Kellar, April 14, 2014

Severe Weather

Severe Storms Slam North Texas with Baseball-Sized Hail, Lightning, Tornadoes—Two tornadoes touched down in North Texas, one in Princeton causing slight roof damage, and the other near Merit. Baseball sized hail fell in Denton, smashing in windows and leaving debris over the streets.
KERA News, Eric Aasan, April 3, 2014

Tornado Warning Forces College Students to Seek Shelter—Denton was slammed by several rounds of severe weather throughout the day, and as the home to both Texas Women’s University and The University of North Texas, the storms affected many college students. The first round of storms dropped baseball sized hail busting out building skylights and windshields. The second round sent students scurrying to safety as a tornado warning was issued for Denton County.
KTVT News, Jennifer Lindgren, April 3, 2014

Hunt County Residents Survey Tornado Damage in the Light of Day—In the town of Merit just to the north of Greenville the National Weather Service concluded that a weak tornado touched down on Thursday night. The tornado destroyed a barn and damaged several buildings causing several people to have minor injuries.
WFAA News, Carla Wade, April 4, 2014

Hopkins County Tornado Severely Damages Homes, Businesses—A tornado touched down in Birthright, Texas overnight Thursday severely damaging several homes and business, and even knocking down the town water tower. No injuries were reported with the storm.
KTVT News, Jake Shannon, April 4, 2014

1 Injured, Buildings Damaged by East Texas Tornado—A tornado touched down near Lovelady, Texas and injured one person at around 5 p.m.. The tornado knocked over trees, destroyed three mobile homes, and caused minor damage to the high school.
The Houston Chronicle, St. John Barned-Smith, April 13, 2014

Thousands Without Power Across Houston Due to Weather—A round of strong thunderstorms moved across Houston late Monday afternoon and knocked out power to over 6,000 customers across Southeast Texas, most of which were in west Houston.
KPRC News, Jill Courtney, April 14, 2014

Tornado Touchdown in Pittsburg—The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Pittsburg, Texas shortly before 4 pm Monday. The tornado tore the roof off of Parker Metal and Hardware.
KYTX News, Field Sutton, April 14, 2014


Wednesday’s Peak Wind Speeds—Strong winds picked up dust in Mexico and brought it north into the Borderlands on Thursday dropping visibility and bringing gusty winds. Parts of I-10 were closed for a few hours after visibilities dropped below ¼ of a mile. Peak wind gusts were at 80 mph in the San Augustin Pass, and at 45 mph at El Paso International.
KTSM News, Chuck DeBroder, April 3, 2014

Wind and Dust Causes Problems for Drivers—High winds and blowing dust created problems for drivers across the Panhandle today. A five car pileup on FM 1912 is blamed on low visibility, and on I-40 several trailers were flipped over in the high winds.
KFDA News, April 3, 2014

Dust Storms in the Panhandle Area—On Tuesday blowing dust was so severe that warnings against traveling were issued for many parts of the Panhandle. The lack of rain and high winds have created a perfect situation for blowing dust, but experts say this is nothing like the historic Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
KFDA News, April 29, 2014

Lubbock Endures 29 Days of Dust in 2014—This year has been much dustier than the past few years, with 29 days of blowing dust, reducing visibility below ¼ of a mile. Last year for the same period there were only 14 days.
KCBD News, Cary Allen, April 29, 2014

Other Climate Impacts

Drought Leads to Lake Discovery and Possible Cold Case Resolution—The disappearance of Helen Holladay in September 1979 may finally be solved thanks to the drought. Water levels in Lake Granbury have dropped low enough to reveal the cab of a Chevy truck, inside which was found Mrs. Holladay’s remains.
KTVT News, Bud Gillett, April 18, 2014


Schools Battle Water Woes—School districts across the Panhandle have faced financial hurtles as the drought continues to tighten its grip. Canyon ISD has drilled two new wells at the cost of $70,000 each to help with district water, and Amarillo ISD has replaced all athletic fields with artificial turf to save water. All districts are paying much more per thousand gallons of water compared to previous years.
The Amarillo Globe News, Mollie Bryant, April 20, 2014


Stage 5 Car Wash Restrictions—The city of Wichita Falls may be adding another stage to its drought contingency plan, and this stage 5 would focus on essential and non-essential water usage. Deemed non-essential by the city, car washes would have limited hours of operation and would be closed Sunday and Monday. Stage 5 will go into effect when the combined lake levels drop below 25%.
KAUZ News, April 9, 2014


Preparing Plants for a Possible April Freeze—A late season freeze is in store for North Texas overnight Sunday, and gardeners and nurseries are taking heed of warnings. Sensitive plants should be moved inside, and outdoor plants should be watered and insulated with mulch to prevent damage.
KTVT News, Stephanie Lucero, April 14, 2014

Proposed Changes to Amarillo’s Landscape Ordinance—The current Amarillo landscaping code requires 100% of the land for a business or apartment complex to have some sort of landscaping, usually grass, covering it. Now under pressure to conserve water resources the city is considering dropping that percentage down for more non-living landscaping.
KFDA News, April 19, 2014


SAWS Delays Vote in Impact Fees—The San Antonio Water System board decided to delay the vote that would increase fees for new water supply hookups. The fee would more than double the fee on developers looking to access the San Antonio water supply. According to the SAWS chairman the vote will be delayed until May 6.
San Antonio Express News, Scott Huddleston, April 1, 2014


Drought May Cause some Pools to Close—If Wichita Falls heads into stage 5 drought restrictions this summer it will ban the use of city water to fill pools. This includes pools for the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and hotels across the city, so they are planning for the worst. The YMCA only looks to open its two indoor pools this year, and hotels are asking patrons to help conserve water.
KFDX News, April 4, 2014

NASCAR Sprint Cup Underway After Rain Postponement—The Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was delayed due to humid and wet conditions not suitable for a race. The track was dried for over 4 hours ahead of the race, but continued misty and humid conditions prompted race officials to delay the race until the following day.
WFAA News, George Riba, April 6, 2014

State Park Drought Watch—Lake Arrowhead is currently at 24.3% capacity and the drop in lake levels is hurting the attendance of Lake Arrowhead State Park. The low lake levels not only hurt the attendance of the state park but also the wildlife in the area, causing the park rangers to respond with a new program called “Drought Days.”
KAUZ News, April 17, 2014

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