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April brought about a wetter than normal month for much of the state, especially in Houston where 8.20” of rain was recorded. This was the 6 th wettest April on record for the area. As for the drought conditions, as of the end of the month only 16% of the state is under severe drought or worse. This is the lowest percentage since November of 2010. Amarillo is doing better in the rainfall department by having a day of record rainfall at the end of the month with 1.71” in 24 hours. Statewide, reservoirs now stand at 73.9% full, which is nearly a 4% jump since the end of March, which included a 9% increase in storage in North Central Texas, easing sprinkler use restrictions for the first time since 2013 West Central Texas and the Highland Lakes have not improved as much, however, with Austin area reservoirs still sitting at 40% and mandatory Stage 1 water restrictions being considered by the Brazos Valley River Authority.

Heavy rains this month proved valuable for wheat growers, but more problematic for other crops. Onions are growing great, along with peaches due to the cool winter. The warmer and wetter spring, however, is causing concern over invasive weed growth in the coming months. Muddy and soggy grounds in the wettest portions of the state are causing issues for farmers that are wanting to plant crops for the spring growing period as soil moisture is still running too high. Ecologically, cattle are still doing well and have plentiful water in their stock tanks from the rain.

The rainfall during this month all occurred due to the several bouts of severe weather that brought large hail and even tornadoes to some locations in Texas. North Texas saw 11 tornadoes touch down near Rio Vista and Glen Rose, and earlier in the month there was a tornado in the Longview area. Heavy rains and flooding often accompanied these storms; Gainesville saw up to 5 inches of rain during one storm. More than 1000 people lost power in two separate events during the month, with over 1000 insurance claims from wind damage alone. Not all weather-related events were severe weather, though: there was also a wildfire in Fort Davis that torched more than 700 acres of land.
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