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Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through September 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, August 4, 2015
U.S. Drought Monitor, August 25, 2015

North Texas has gone 30 days with no rain -- Thirty days might seem like a long time to go without rain, but they are no where near the record. In 2000, the area did not receive rain for 55 days from July 30 to September 22. The National Weather Service says Waco has gone 38 days without rain. The drought has returned to areas of East Texas, and North Texas remains out of the drought for now. One percent of the state is currently under severe drought. and 28% of the state is under the abnormally dry category.
KERA News, Eric Aasen, August 7, 2015

‘Godzilla’ El Nino may be developing -- This current El Niño could become the strongest one on record. The existing El Niño on record is from 1997. As of right now, the current El Niño is already the second strongest for this time of year.
KXAN, Staff Writer, August 13, 2015

Severe drought returns suddenly to Central Texas -- A mere two weeks after being drought free, the Austin metro has areas which were experiencing severe drought conditions. The rest of Texas is considered abnormally dry.
KXAN, Staff Writer, August 13, 2015

DFW dry streak continues, but rain could be on the way -- The 39 day streak of no rain continued for North Texas, and it tied with the fourth longest dry period. A cold front in the forecast is putting a kink in the dry streak. Matt Stalley from the Fort Worth National Weather Service Office predicts the best chance of rain for Wednesday afternoon through Thursday.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., August 16, 2015

Texas suffers from ‘Flash Drought’, weather service says -- The National Weather Service is using the phrase flash drought to describe developing drought conditions in Texas. This corresponds to an area that went from very wet conditions to very dry conditions in a matter of weeks.
Beaumont Enterprise, Dan Wallach, August 17, 2015

Lack of rain in Central Texas may set new record -- Bell county had no rain expected in the forecast, and was without rain for 48 days prior. This meant it was rivaling the 97 year old rainless record set in 1918. Many farmers in the area were suffering from loss in crops and cotton especially was hurt.
Killeen Daily Herald, Deborah McKeon, August 18, 2015

Cold front brings chance of rain, cooler temperatures -- Central Texas broke the 40 consecutive days without rain streak with showers. A cold front came and many areas saw from a 30-60% chance of rain and were expected to bring 1-2 inches of rainfall. Austin, though, was expected to see sunny skies and highs in the upper 90s.
The Austin American-Statesman, Nicole Chavez, August 19,2015

Forecasters predict a strong El Nino in Texas --The Texas weather does have a strong relationship to El Niño, and while this does not mean there will possibly be massive storms, it does shift the normal possibilities. For Texas, it normally means increased precipitation from rain and snow. As an example, El Niño has caused rainfall in Amarillo to be 145% of normal. While it brings rain for Texas, the El Niño weather pattern brings drought to other areas like Southeast Asia.
Amarillo Globe-News, Aaron Davis, August 23, 2015

Active Pacific indicative of strong El Niño -- El Niño is the root cause of the greater than normal hurricane or rather typhoon activity in the Pacific Ocean and toned down activity in the Atlantic Ocean. This also means there will be changes to the typical weather pattern for central Texas, with colder and wetter conditions will be more likely during the coming months.
KTXS, Melissa Valdez, August 31, 2015

Water Supply

Lake levels just under 100 percent -- Wichita Falls have lakes mostly 100% full, which was a great improvement from where they were earlier in May. For comparison, the two reservoirs were at 22.5 percent by early May and clocked in at 99.7 percent in August. Levels also rose for Lake Arrowhead from 20.4 to 99.8 and Lake Kickapoo from 28 to 99.7 percent.
Times Record News, Deanna Watson, August 3, 2015

Heat has Waco water systems stressed with 105-degree weather -- Residents were asked to conserve water in the Waco area due to the rise in temperatures around 104 to 105. The city water system has used on average 400-500 million gallons of water a day since August 1. The city officials asked for people not to use any outdoor water.
Waco Tribune Herald, Olivia Messer, August 7, 2015

San Marcos returning to Stage 2 restrictions -- On August 23, the county returned to stage 2 drought restrictions just a week after they were able to go to stage 1. The stage 2 drought restrictions limit the use of sprinklers to just a day a week which is designated by address. Residents were also limited on washing cars at home.
KVUE, Staff Writer, August 19, 2015


Texas crop, weather -- The current weather conditions are helping the cotton crops. There were wetter periods earlier in the year, which delayed planting, but the rain in July also made some favorable moisture conditions. Although, if El Niño brings more rain later this season it will delay the harvest or cause regrowth. The hot weather pattern crops are experiencing now are causing the crops to grow more quickly and harvest times will be earlier than usual.
Texas A&M Agrilife, Robert Burns, August 4, 2015

Expect good year from Texas Wineries amid wet weather -- The farmers, who were plagued by years of drought, were very thankful for the 12 and 13 inches of rain. Grape growers were bothered with having to test their grapes for fungal disease and pressure on the vines. If they were not managed, companies could lose a lot of fruit. Despite some losses they were still able to get great yields.
NBC DFW, Staff Writer, August 21, 2015

Texas crop, weather for August 25 -- There were fish die-offs occurred due to the recent weather pattern. The high temperatures coupled with cloudy days and followed by thunderstorms have caused oxygen to be depleted from ponds and lakes. This happens because warmer water holds less oxygen than warmer water. For people with ponds, observe where the fish are in the morning, when oxygen levels are the lowest, and if they are at the surface of the water they are oxygen deprived.
AgriLife Today, Robert Burns, August 25, 2015

Texas Ag Report -- Texas had rain in many areas including the Upper Coast and Coastal bend with reports totaling up to 10 inches in isolated reports. The declining pasture conditions caused the livestock to continue needing supplements. The grains farmers are applying fertilizer for the soil preparation prior to planting.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Staff Writer, August 30, 2015


Wildfire contained; crews continue to monitor sites -- There was a small fire remaining in Tyler County along FM 256 after several fires quickly broke out on Sunday. They were able to keep the fire from spreading, but those living close to the fire had to evacuate. Thankfully, no homes were damaged. They are still unsure what caused of the fire.
KBTV, Staff Writer, August 2, 2015

Officials warily watch dry weather, consider burn bans -- The continuous hot, dry days took all the moisture from the ground across Houston. This lead to fire danger concerns as there was little rain in the forecast.
The Houston Chronicle, Mihir Zaveri, August 3, 2015

Harrison County, Texas issues burn ban -- The current lack of rainfall and high temperatures prompted the issuing of a burn ban for Harrison County. When people dismissed this ban and proceeded with burning, they were charged a $500 fine. Marion County is also under a burn ban.
KTBS, Staff Writer, August 4, 2015

Dry weather brings burn bans to Southeast Texas -- The dry, hot weather conditions added many Southeast Texas counties to the burn ban list. The conditions are for when fires will get out of control quickly. The area was showing 6 inches below the average rainfall according to meteorologist Jack Brooks from the National Weather Service.
KBMT, Staff Writer, August 6, 2015

Burn bans extend across Southeast Texas -- At least 95 Texas counties are under the burn ban due to the chance of wildfires. Jefferson County will be under the ban for at least 90 days, and anyone who violates this ban will be charged up to $500 for the misdemeanor.
Beaumont Enterprise, Dan Wallach, August 11, 2015

Brief rainfall helps to control grass fire in Brazos County -- A fire started on Tuesday at around 3pm near Texas A&M Riverside campus. The fire was 75% contained and started just hours before a burn ban was put in place. A downpour of rain helped the firefighters in extinguishing the fire.
KBTX, Steve Fullhart, August 11, 2015

Containment grows around 5,000 acre Texas brush fire -- After a bush fire burned 5,300 acres,  fire fighters were able to keep it 50-70% contained. This required 100 firefighters to manage, and the fire was caused by a lightning strike. The fire was the first sustained fire for Tom Green county in several years. During the peak of the fire there were 200 firefighters helping contain the wildfire.
Firefighter Nation, Staff Writer, August 18, 2015

Despite some rain, fire danger has increased -- The Fort Worth National Weather Service Office reported less than a half an inch of precipitation for the area. Northern portions of Cleburne were in the highest danger area for fire. This is why they ended up keeping the outdoor burn in place. The small amount of rain was just simply not enough to lift the burn ban.  
Burleson Star, Brian Porter, August 24, 2015

Inclement Weather


Hot, dry conditions likely to stick around DFW, but rain could return in fall -- The conditions are good for ranchers across the state, although there might be a fire risk across the state if it continues to stay dry. Dallas received a small break in the hundred degree highs with a high of just 97, and they were on the 24th consecutive day with no rain. Climatologist Dr. Nielsen-Gammon says that Texas has never been dry during an El Niño, so it will be wet again sooner or later.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, August 1, 2015

116-degree day possible in East Texas; would break all-time record of 111 -- A weather model showed a possibility of reaching 116 degrees for east Texas. KYTX CBS 19 meteorologist Alberto Romero said the Global Forecast System (GFS) did show 116 degrees in some areas, but he is expecting some areas to be just slightly above 105 degree temperatures next week. Chris Nutall, National Weather Service meteorologist noted that the European models were showing highs in the 105-107 range.
KYTX, Alberto Romero, August 4, 2015

Year’s first Heat Advisory issued for North Texas -- Many north Texas counties experienced their first heat advisory warnings of the year. The temperatures were expected to approach the triple digits, and some areas were expected to even reach 109 in North Texas. The key to staying safe is to drink water before you are thirsty, as once you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.
NBCDFW, Todd Davis, August 5, 2015

Heat Advisory issues for Houston area -- The heat index is expected to be as high as 110 degrees during the day. Drink plenty of water and wear lighter and looser clothes and to avoid being outside if it is possible. Residents were advised to do any strenuous work indoors if possible.
KPRC, Alex Green, August 8, 2015

City declares heat emergency as temperature climbs to 100 -- This extra measure provided free METRO transportation for anyone without working air conditioning to one of the designated “cooling stations.” The heat index was expected to be around 109 and 111 by the end of the weekend. Note that fans without air conditioning will actually accelerate your body temperature when the temperatures are just in the 90s.
Houston Chronicle, Allan Turner, August 8, 2015

Sunday hottest day in 3 years, Monday could be worse -- A heat advisory was put into place through the evening of the 10th when temperatures are expected to range from 104-107 degrees in the Metroplex. People were again advised not to remain outside. This was the hottest day since north Texas hit 106 on August 14, 2012. Today north Texas reached 32 consecutive days without rainfall.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Monica Nagy, August 9, 2015

Heat Advisory again issued for East Texas -- Hot temperatures were added with high humidity to produce dangerous heat index levels. Gregg and surrounding counties have a heat advisory in effect. Longview reached a high of 105 and the heat index values are predicted to reach 110.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, August 10, 2015


Spring floods fill local caves -- Flooding from May reshaped the landscape in central Texas on the surface and in the caves below. The rain from may filled many creeks, streams and rivers. The rains even reached caves, and have become major holding tanks.
KVUE, Lynae Miyer, August 2, 2015

Storms dump heavy rain on South Plains -- The Southern Plains received heavy rain with isolated flooding areas. They are expecting for more possibly severe wet weather to come to the area. Radar indicated that there was about 3 inches of rain during the current storm that fell 6 miles around Shallowater according to meteorologist Matt Ziebell from the Lubbock National Weather Service Office.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Adam Young, August 16, 2015

Minor flooding occurring across parts of Houston, warnings issued -- Houston TranStar received reports of minor flooding for a few of Houston’s major roads. Two lanes of I-45 northbound at the 610 loop as well as I-45 at the 610 West Loop. These storms were caused by the front meeting the moist Gulf of Mexico air.  
The Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger, August 20, 2015

Flash flood warning issued for parts of Cameron County -- The Brownsville National Weather Service meteorologist detected a tornado within a severe thunderstorm. Even after the tornado ended, there were still areas under the flash flood watch due to the rain from the event. The flash flood warnings were for south central Cameron County.  There were also reports of street flooding in Brownsville.
The Herald, Laura B. Martinez, August 31, 2015

Severe Weather

Lightning overnight, power outages affect 15,000 -- According to the Amarillo National Weather Service there was a spectacular lightning show, but not much rain came with it. Around 15,000 people in south central Amarillo did not have power for some time on Sunday morning. By 11:30, Xcel Energy was able to get 5,600 of those customers power again, which still left 9,400 people without power. Later on the NWS received a damage report where part of a grain elevator was blocking U.S. Highway 87 near Pollard Road after it was knocked over. There were no flash flood warnings.
Amarillo Globe-News, Vanessa Garcia, August 9, 2015

Lightning sparked fire that destroyed SW Houston home -- Luckily, the family was not home at the time of the fire. Neighbors said it sounded like an explosion and preceded to warn their other neighbors about the fire. The family was devastated, but happy they were safe.
KHOU, Larry Seward, August 12, 2015

Storms bring first substantial rains to Central Texas in weeks -- The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for many counties in Central Texas. Flooding was not likely in the area, as the soil was ready to absorb the water. Central Texas received power outages that affected 546 people in Austin Thursday afternoon. The rain also reached the DFW Metroplex and there 2,800 people were without power. There were some roads flooded in the Houston Galveston area.
The Austin American-Statesman, Staff Writer, August 20, 2015

Troubles continue after Thursday’s storm -- The valley area is still feeling the effects of the severe weather that came through. Around 10,000 customers lost power during the storm and energy companies were hiring extra help in order to keep up with the need. There were also roads that were blocked due to the flooding.
KRGV, Staff Writer, August 21, 2015

Thousands without power following drive-time storm -- Fast moving thunderstorms went through east Texas Tuesday and gave the area much needed rain, but also took many electric lines out of service by knocking the towers over. There were roughly 2,500 people without power by midday, which was already an improvement from the 7,000 people without power when the storm initially hit the area.
Tyler Morning Paper, Kenneth Dean, August 25, 2015

Severe weather moves through Houston area -- A line of strong storms moving with a cold front had wind speeds of up to 50 mph in Houston area. There were reports of damage to fences, hail and heavy rain.  There were many Thunderstorm Warnings issued for counties in the area.
KPRC, Staff Writer, August 25, 2015

Other Climate Impacts


Heat impacting East Texas tires -- The heat is taking a toll on people and tires. If people failed to inspect their car tires, they could be in danger of having them blown out while driving and left stranded on the middle of the road until they put a spare in or have their car towed. The tires heat up and expand it affects the pressure in your tires. It is also wise to check your coolant during the hotter months, so you can be sure that you car will not overheat.
KYTX, Jay Wallis, August 6, 2015

Rainy weather contributes to myriad vehicle crashes -- Heavy rains in Wilson County on August 20 lead to 6 daytime crashes. No one was injured during the crashes. There was a traffic backup due to the crashes.
Wilson County News, William Gibbs Jr., August 26, 2015


Coaches & Student-Athletes making adjustments in the Texas heat -- Many high school football players returned to the field to start practice. Some teams just practiced in the morning and the evening, but freshmen from Keller High School practiced in the hottest part of the day around 4pm. To help with the heat, regulations are set in place to keep the kids safe. When temperatures are between 100 and 104, they get water breaks every 30 min, and once the temperature climbs to 105-109 the water breaks move to every 20 min. If the temperature reaches 110 degrees the coaches are required to stop practice.
CBS DFW, Jennifer Lindgren, August 11, 2015

Heat is a real factor for August Anglers -- The best time to fish is not just whenever you can, because if you can avoid bad weather your experience will be much better. It is best to fish around dawn and dusk in order to avoid the late-summer heat, which brings with it poor and even dangerous fishing conditions.
The Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, August 15, 2015

Our unusual weather’s strange effects continue -- During the rainy, cooler weather, plants grew faster than normal and were thriving as if the great conditions were going to stay. Then the harsher summer conditions came and happened quickly, so the plants did not have a great chance to adapt and usually hardy plants had a hard time. This is just from a variety of factors, and the weather pattern aided in the plants struggling.
Dallas Morning News, Neil Sperry, August 21, 2015

There’s good news for Texas waterfowlers in 2015-16 -- There is an increase in the duck population for Texas. Although, there are low nesting successes by the mid-continent. This would mean the goose hunters will have a more challenging winter and fall. August 2015 is the 21st consecutive August with good news for the waterfowlers.
The Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, August 22, 2015

Odessa overcomes lightning, special teams mistakes to defeat Lubbock Monterey -- The weather ended up being a big issue during the game. They saw lightning 12 miles away after the half time performances, then lightning struck 6 miles away a few minutes later. Overall, the lightning delayed the game by one hour and 56 minutes.
Texas Redzone Report, Daniel Ormsby, August 29, 2015

Weather combination brings cricket invasion to the Big Country -- There was an excessive amount of black crickets recently in Abilene area. Normally, cricket season peaks in August and September according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service website. Also, beetle invasions normally follow the cricket invasions so keep that in mind for the rest of the summer to prepare your yard.
KTXS, Melissa Valdez, August 26, 2015

Dry weather helps and hurts East Texans -- Multiple areas throughout east Texas are in the moderate to severe drought category. The extra dry weather was appreciated by the people who marched for multicultural peace and understanding in Nacogdoches.  
KLTV, Anissa Centers, August 30, 2015

Public Health

High levels of air pollution expected in San Antonio -- The atmospheric conditions were expected to reach high levels of air pollution by Sunday. Because of this, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued an Ozone Action Day for San Antonio starting August 2. There were seven other counties under an alert.
KENS, Staff Writer, August 1, 2015

Ozone Action Day declared in Central Texas -- Bastrop, Cadwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties were determined to have favorable high ozone air pollution conditions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. During these warnings, people with lung disease and the elderly and young are advised to stay indoors as much as possible.
KVUE, Staff Writer, August 27, 2015

West Nile Virus most prevalent at this time of year due to recent rains -- East Texas recently had rain, and is providing the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This may not seem like an important issue, but mosquitoes are now better known for their ability to carry deadly diseases. Dr. Wallace, who has studied West Nile for 40 years notes that 80% of the people with the disease never even have symptoms. There are also no medications or vaccinations for West Nile. So far this year, four people in North Texas have already died from West Nile virus.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Staff Writer, August 28, 2015


Heat wave pushes Texas power grid to all-time record -- The power demand reached 68,459 megawatts, according to Electric Reliability Council of Texas. This beat the previous record set in August 2011, which was 68,305 megawatts. Alerts were sent out in the hopes to conserve electricity use during the warmer days.
The Dallas Morning News, James Osborne, August 5, 2015

Texas power demand sets new record back-to-back days -- Electric Reliability Council of Texas operates the electric grid that covers most of the state, and on Wednesday, August 5, 68,459 megawatts of energy were used, and broke the previous record. Then on Thursday, August 6 68538 megawatts were used. For reference, one megawatt is enough electricity for 200 homes during hot weather running air conditioning.
WFAA, Staff Writer, August 6, 2015

Longview home sales pick up as weather dries out -- Inclement weather is a large factor for business and the Longview market was able to recover as the area began to dry out. People seem to be more likely to go out when the weather is nice outside. Suzanne Cook, owner of Suzanne Cook & Co. said her sales were dead in the water when they were having a lot of rain, but now their sales are up $10 million this year.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, August 9, 2015

Rising temperatures, rising electrical demand -- Only two days so far in August were under the triple digit mark according to the Midland National Weather Service Office. The hottest day recorded was 106, which happened on Sunday, August 9. Darville Company, an air conditioning contractor, noted they are busiest in June, July and August. In August alone so far they have had 202 calls. On Monday August 10th, they reached a new peak demand for electricity at 69,783 megawatts. This is the third time the record has been broken in the month.
Odessa American, Jared Wilson, August 13, 2015

Texas Power Market hasn’t been this hot since it was cold -- The extra usage of air conditioning units is causing the price per megawatt-hour of energy to increase. In recent history, the last time prices surged was when the arctic air was coming to Texas during 2014. Currently the price is around $66.84 per megawatt-hour, while the previous spike in 2011 caused the prices to rise to $210.
Bloomberg, Naureen Malik, August 14, 2015

Extreme North Texas weather taking tolls on home -- Home foundations are struggling in the ever changing weather conditions. The prior wet conditions to the very dry conditions have taken its toll on some homes. Many North Texas homes sit on clay soil, which is expansive and will absorb water and it needs a consistent amount of moisture. In the dry months, it is still necessary to water around the foundation in order to help keep it level. It is much easier to maintain a good foundation than to pay for repairs, which can be as costly as $30,000.
CBS DFW, Robbie Owens, August 17, 2015

Heavy spring rains mess with Texas home construction -- The heavy rains are causing delays in starts and closing for Texas homebuilders. Many companies were unable to pour concrete for 70 days, and there were enough closing delays in order to affect their annual performance. They are now trying to catch up with lost time.
Construction Drive, Sharon O’Malley, August 24, 2015

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