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Burn Bans/Drought/Fires/Water Supply

County-wide burn bans through January 1

December 18 – During the summer drought, a ban on fireworks was put in place in Bexar County, though recent rains have helped ease restrictions with county leaders deciding to allow fireworks sales for the New Year period. San Antonio firework sellers can now sell any type of personal use fireworks. However, Bexar County Firefighters advise residents to attend professional fireworks displays because there are still large amounts of dry brush that can catch fire from unsafe firework use.

December 20 – Residents in Surfside Beach can now buy fireworks over the Christmas and New Year's season after the summer drought had put a long-term ban on fireworks sales. Fireworks sellers expect sales to be good, as long as the weather is not bitterly cold, snowy, or rainy.

December 20 – This year's past drought had a very strong effect on Walker County, with the county placed under three separate burn bans. The dry conditions and low rainfall led to a higher percentage of fires, and fire officials say that debris left behind by Hurricane Ike provided additional fuel for the fires.


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, December 2, 2009
U.S. Drought Monitor, December 29, 2009

December 6 – An area of abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought expanded over the past week to include almost all of the Lubbock area, though snowfall late last week was not reflected on the United States Drought Monitor map.

December 28 – Although Corpus Christi has received about 3.33 inches of December precipitation, which is 1.84 inches above normal, the area still needs nearly 12 inches of rain to get out of the drought. Famers in the area are hoping for more rain in the near future to help with spring planting and to avoid a repeat of 2009's dreadful crop output.


December 6 – Victims of wildfires in Montague County received new mobile homes from the Montague County Disaster Recovery Board, in part from donations from local residents. In Mid-April, dry weather combined with high winds to char nearly 100,000 acres and destroy 85 residences.

December 20 – Fire officials across the state are predicting a lower than usually wildfire season this coming year in the Panhandle area because of the prediction for more precipitation in the area due to El Nino. Officials are watching tall grasses and bushes that have been dried out by recent freezing conditions, though most of the fire threat is over because of the abundant autumn precipitation.

December 27 – Firefighters in the Panhandle area might not see nearly as many wildfires this winter compared to the last winter. The Texas Forest Service says that wetter-than-normal conditions in Texas caused by El Nino will help prevent grounds from being dry.

Water Supply

December 2 – One Dallas resident is furious that the local sanitation department is wasting money and resources on hauling rainwater to the dump from trash bins that contain no lids.

December 6 – The San Marcos River Foundation is handing out bumper stickers and information regarding their campaign called "Don't Squeeze Texas Dry." The group of citizen, clubs, and civic groups in San Marcos has existed for 24 years and works to keep the river clean and represent their interests at government meetings.

December 10 – Stage II water pumping restrictions that had been in place since September for residents along the Guadalupe River have been lifted by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority after the last few months have brought regular rainfall. The restriction had been in place for six hydroelectric lakes in Comal, Guadalupe, and Gonzalez counties.

December 23 – The worst drought ever recorded in Hays County is finally over thanks to above-average rainfall that started in September. The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District's Board of directors has voted to declare No-Drought Conditions for its areas, while at the same time warning that the aquifer has not reached normal levels yet.

Agricultural Impacts

December 1 – Farmers and ranchers all across Texas welcomed news that Senate leaders will delay action on a climate bill until at least next spring. The controversial bill is seen by many in the agricultural industry as a blow to American production with little to be gained in terms of the environment and energy production.

December 12 – According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension regional crop report, the South Plains area livestock were stressed because of cold weather. In the Panhandle area, soil moistures were low and Dryland wheat was stressed because of cold and dry conditions, while a hard freeze in the Southwest caused losses to vegetable crops.

December 15 – Nice fall weather has made cotton harvests around Plainview move quickly, but wet weather and early frosts in September might have taken a toll on the quality of the crop. According to Hale County AgriLife Extension officials this year's growing season was cut short because of cool, wet weather and early freezes.

December 16 – This summer's severe drought has cost Guadalupe County farmers and ranchers about $15 million according to the county extension agent. Meanwhile in Seguin, pecan farmers have only been able to plant about 30 percent of their typical crop because of drought, insects and heavy rain at the end of the season.

December 16 – According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel, the recent cold weather has stopped warm-season grass from continuing to grow. However, the rain helped winter pastures grow stronger, though in Collin County, only about 30 percent of winter pastures were planted because of the abundance of rainfall this autumn.

December 18 – Drought, early freezes, and heavy rain in early fall have forced Texas pecan growers to reduce their crop. South Texas growers had to harvest early in the growing season because of heavy rains, while Central and West Texas growers had problems because of an early spring freeze that weakened many varieties of pecans.

December 19 – Officials from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services say that the damages from this summer's intense heat and drought are not over in South Texas. The damage will become more visible during the spring and upcoming summer months, with officials predicting that a large number of lawns will need renovations.

December 22 – Texas A&M AgriLife officials say that several days of windy weather in Far West Texas caused soil-moisture levels to decrease, leaving pastures dry and ranchers in need of heavy rains. Across both Far West Texas and North Texas ranchers have had to increase supplemental feeding because of the cold weather and feral hog destruction of crops and fields.

December 27 – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension reports that dry conditions have increased the chance for wildfires in the Panhandle. Very wet and cold weather brought all fieldwork to a standstill in the Coastal Bend, while in the South, rangeland and pastures were in poor condition because of a hard freeze that happened earlier. The cold temperatures in the South all have kept perennial grasses dormant and increased weed growth.

December 27 – Farmers in the South Plains are experiencing many challenges with their crops with cold and dry weather conditions stalling the growth and maturity of cotton plants. The overall cold and dryness has also affected this season's peanut crop.

Inclement Weather

Cold/Winter Weather

December 1 – The start of the month brought temperatures below freezing and 2 inches of snow to El Paso International Airport and surrounding areas. The winter weather caught a Dallas couple off guard who were visiting the desert when the storm hit, and they forced to spend 24 hours in their vehicle before rescuers found them.

December 2 – An El Paso man has been lost in the snow-covered wilderness for five days in Gila National Forest, though rescuers are working to find the missing hiker. The family is holding out hope that footprints spotted in the snow are from the missing hiker, while others educate on the dangers of any hiking expedition, snow or no snow.

December 3 – The Dallas-Fort Worth area had its first freeze of the season, as the temperature dropped down to freezing at DFW airport and lower in surrounding areas. A National Weather Service meteorologist indicated most areas did experience temperatures below 32 degrees for a few hours.

December 4 – The Dallas-Fort Worth area avoided the hassles of snow and ice for the second time in less than a week, but was not spared from temperatures that will plummet below freezing overnight.

December 4 – The snowfall in Houston marked only the fourth time in the past 15 years the city has picked up measurable snowfall and is the earliest snowfall on record. Downtown saw amounts of less than an inch but 3-4 inches were reported to the southwest of the city.

December 9 – The Grayson County homeless shelter was ready to help those without a heat source, with temperatures expected to drop well below freezing. The shelter prepared for the expected increase in visitors by stocking the pantries full of canned goods for hot meals and providing a fireplace to help people stay warm.

December 12 – Low turnout in the Houston mayor runoff was likely because of the weather, with heavy fog and/or light rain being reported for much of the day.

December 13 – A change to colder weather in Southeast Texas is inevitably accompanied by an increase in fatal house fires, and this year was no different as two weekend blazes caused loss of life. Two adult women were killed in Port Arthur and just to the east in Orange, two young girls died in a separate blaze.

December 14 – With cold and inclement weather seeming to be the norm in Texas this December, the city of Cleburne says it has everything from snow chains to sand ready just in case they are needed. Downed trees resulting from high winds and thunderstorms is something the city says they are also prepared for.

December 17 – Recent cold weather turned an already scenic water fountain outside a North Texas home into an ice sculpture (See link for picture).

December 21 – Doctors across Texas are saying that the cold winter weather could increase your chances of having a heart attack by releasing extra adrenaline into the body, causing a rise in blood pressure. Doctors recommend that if you feel too cold, get indoors as soon as possible. When staying outside for an extended period of time, be sure to wear several layers of clothes.

December 22 – Citizens for Smoke Free Lewisville efforts to gather the last of the 2,200 signatures needed in support of a no-smoking initiative fell short as cold weather kept many people away from the annual Holiday at the Hall. The Group currently has 35 percent of the needed signatures and hopes that they will be able to get the rest of the signatures before their 45-day window expires.

December 25 – Residents in the Fort Worth area are not used to seeing snow drifts in their city like those seen after a winter storm hit the area on Christmas Eve. The snow quickly turned into slush which caused many traffic accidents for last-minute shoppers before turning into ice overnight and forcing the closure of I-35E on Christmas morning.

December 28 – In Wichita Falls, heavy snowfall halted mail delivery, an occurrence the local Postmaster said was a first in her 37 year career. Snow drifts piled up high, causing dangerous conditions for delivery persons, whom she had to call back to the post office.

December 29 – For the second time in six days, North Texas residents welcomed snowy weather, though above-freezing temperatures kept roadways from icing and kept snow accumulations to a minimum. The snow did disrupt flights at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, where 125 flights had to be canceled.

December 31 – El Paso city officials believe that the death of two men can be blamed on freezing nighttime temperatures after one man's body was found in an arroyo and another in a tunnel. The El Paso Rescue Mission director says that the recent freezing weather has been a big problem for El Paso homeless people, since they try and brave the cold.


December 10 – Repairs have begun on the Medina Dam seven years after the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission reported the dam to be unstable and threatening to residents living nearby. The estimated cost is $11.5 million and repairs will be done by URS Engineering with a target completion date of April 11, 2011.

December 18 – The U.S. Corps of Engineers say that Belton Dam will be lowered about two feet to repair damages caused by flooding, with wind and wave action also causing displacement of the protective layer of the dam.


December 7 – The Deep East Texas Council of Governments is in charge of distributing $208 million in Hurricane Ike recovery funding among 12 counties in East Texas. Funds will be based on an economic formula that takes unemployment, poverty, and other statistics into consideration. On December 23, a Lufkin board of governments voted to adopt a plan for a second round of Hurricane Ike recovery funds.

December 9 – Experts at Colorado State University predict that the hurricane season in 2010 will be more active than the relatively quite season of 2009. The El Nino pattern that tempered tropical activity in 2009 is expected to change, with researchers predicting 11-16 named storms, 6-8 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.

December 11 – The Texas Department of Rural Affairs has granted the Brenham area nearly $700,000 in state funds to purchase and install two electrical generators. Officials announced that the generators are needed because of the lack of generators during hurricanes Ike and Dolly and will be placed at the South Austin Street water facility and Faith Mission evacuee shelter.

December 29 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Texas Division of Emergency Management reached a milestone in the recovery from Hurricane Ike by processing its 15,000th Public Assistance Infrastructure work project. The projects have totaled more than $1.6 billion with the milestone project being repair work to the heliport at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Severe Weather

December 8 – High winds slammed El Paso, leaving behind major damage less than a week after a snow storm hit the area and only a few months since a major hail storm caused millions of dollars in damage. Winds reached in excess of 80 mph in some areas, kick up dirt, dust, and debris to challenge drivers and knocked power lines on top of an 18-wheeler.

December 8 – Icy roads caused more than 100 traffic accidents during the morning, just hours after ice had shut down Interstate 27 for a short time the previous night. Local Texas Department of Transportation crews worked around the clock treating the roads, and several local schools delayed starting classes for a couple hours.

December 9 – A powerful dust storm overtook the area with winds topping 60 mph, literally blowing pedestrians off of sidewalks, who were already having difficulty walking because of freezing rain that had fallen in the past 24 hours. Insurance companies were busy fielding calls from businesses and homeowners reporting damage, and several power lines were knocked over, leaving hundreds of people without power.

December 23 – A 20 to 30 foot wide funnel cloud was spotted in East Texas with a storm that damaged homes, businesses, and vehicles, though no injuries were reported. Police officials reported that roadways were closed because of a gas leak, downed trees, and flying sheet metal. The local electric company reported that about 1,150 customers were without power following the storm.

December 24 – The National Weather Service says that an EF-2 tornado touched down near Longview with wind speeds between 111 mph and 135 mph. City officials say that there was wide spread damage, but no lives were lost because of the warnings issued well in advance of the storm.

December 24 – Damage caused by a storm that hit Lufkin appears to have been a tornado following confirmation from meteorologists with the National Weather Service. Lufkin city officials say the damage left behind by the tornado was worse than that caused by Hurricanes Rita and Ike. The storm knocked out power to about 3,500 electric company customers and about 30 utility poles are in need of replacement.

December 25 – A large thunderstorm that hit Nacogdoches County caused minor home damage, with several downed trees report across the county. A possible lightning strike caused an oil well fire, and isolated flooding and washouts of roadways accompanied the storm.

December 30 – Winds of 60 mph in the Kingsville-Bishop area on Christmas Eve caused power outages for thousands of residents in the area. The high winds knocked down electrical power lines and light posts, and according to electric company officials, power was out for about an hour for most residents.

Other Climate Impacts


December 6 – North Carolina defeated Stanford to win the NCAA women's soccer championship at an unseasonably cold and rainy Aggie Soccer Complex in College Station. The temperatures in the upper 40s were mild compared to the temperatures in the middle 30s seen in the semifinal games two nights before.

December 31 – Despite freezing rain and winter wind, Texas Tech fans stuck by their team and departing head coach, with 60 fans attending a grassroots rally organized on Facebook. At the rally, fans chanted "Lubbock Loves Leach" as freezing rain hit their faces, though rally officials blamed the winter weather and short notice for a small turnout.

Animals/Aquatic Life

December 7 – An environmental coalition called "The Aransas Project" plans to sue the state over its management of the San Antonio and Guadalupe rivers, which they claim is endangering the lives of the whooping crane. Scientists claim the high salinity in the coastal estuary that the whooping crane finds its food source, is due to reduced river inflow, causing a marked decrease in wolfberries and blue crab.

December 12 – Even though it is cold outside, fisherman say that the cold weather still makes for a good time to fish. During the wintertime, diminished boat traffic makes it easier to catch fish in hot spots that are usually pounded by boats during warm days.

December 16 – Many aquatic species in the Southwest region of the United States are becoming vulnerable because of changing rain patterns, lingering drought, and water management. Federal biologists explain that there are about 67 species of plants and animals that need protection from lack of water, overexposure to pollution, and general changes in climate.

December 26 – The cool, damp weather in Texas recently has caused cockroach infestations to be on the increase. There are five species of cockroaches that are native to Texas and can become troublesome in homes and buildings, particularly when the temperatures drop and the outside environment gets wetter.


December 2 – A study by the group Environment Texas indicated that Texas power plants released 260 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2007, ranking worst in the United States. Currently, coal power plants are not required to meet restrictions, and leaders of Environment America are calling on legislation to modernize the older plants.

December 7 – The Environmental Protection Agency says the government is in a position to set new standards on greenhouse gases, a move that would potentially benefit the health of Texans but possibly hamper the fossil fuel sector in Texas. Governor Rick Perry filed a 38-page rebuttal to the proposal saying it is "aggressive federal encroachment into every farm, business, church, and household in America."

December 10 – As proponents of climate change face controversy due to recent events, dubbed "Climategate" by skeptics, a Texas A&M climate expert will speak at the University of Texas Environmental Science Institute. The speaker's goal is to convince the audience that climate is changing and how it will impact Texas in the future.

December 13 – Demonstrators in favor of policies being passed at a climate change summit held in Copenhagen gathered outside the State Capitol building in Austin. The group also protested against the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality for allowing new coal power plants to be constructed in Texas.

December 17 – Rick Perry was the Texas chairman for Al Gore's unsuccessful presidential campaign, but this did not keep the current Texas governor for poking fun at his former ally's stance on climate change. Perry believes federal legislation limiting carbon emissions would hurt businesses and standards of living in Texas.

December 17 – Representative Joe Barton was in Copenhagen, Denmark to express his disapproval of proposed climate change legislation, foreseeing a Texas without personal automobiles or jet aircraft. The Danish economy, however, is proof that an economy can prosper under greener policies, recording an overall growth of 78% since 1980, while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions.


December 15 – Excavation equipment has finally arrived in Galveston to help repair a closed since Hurricane Ike hit the island, though city is still waiting for federal funding to help complete the project. The 5-mile long dike along with dike roads and camping grounds were wiped out by the storm over a year ago.

December 19 – City officials say that $2.8 million in additions to the Boerne fire station have been delayed about 30 days because of recent rains. The new public safety building under construction has also been delayed because the rain, with both projects expected to be completed by September 2010, weather permitting.

December 22 – $3.33 million is being used to repair three flood control dams in the sub-watersheds of the Trinity River. United States Department of Agriculture officials say the dam needs repairs because of slope slides and wave erosion damage occurred during heavy periods of rainfall following this summer's long drought.

December 30 – Residents in Lufkin are finding it hard to recover in the week following a recent tornado. Rainy weather has made the clearance of debris and repair of roof damage nearly impossible, with one resident forced to put a double tarp his roof to keep water from leaking into his home.


December 11 – Hurricane Ike did more than just damage homes and businesses when it hit the Island of Galveston, it dropped the population about 20 percent city officials are now worried that low population numbers could result in a lack of federal and state funding. County leaders are urging all residents to participate in the 2010 census to ensure that the County receives federal funding to pay for Island Transit and the city's annual housing repair programs.

December 14 – The Salvation Army in Bryan-College Station is $20,000 down from last year. Officials at the Salvation Army say that donations are down because more rainy days than usual have kept people from donating as much.

December 21 – Natural gas prices have increased to an 11-month high of $5.91 per million British thermal, due in large part to the recent cold weather across Texas. Officials at the Department of Energy expected that El Nino would bring warmer weather to the United States as a whole, though the opposite has transpired.

December 28 – Unlike a year ago, there is no ban on fireworks in the Austin area, creating a tremendous boost to fireworks sales intended for New Year's celebrations. Retailers have been pleasantly surprised at the demand for fireworks, though the an ordinance prohibits the use of fireworks within Austin city limits.


December 3 – Rosemary is a plant well suited to Texas climate, as it can be kept outside during the winter if properly mulched and with a little luck avoiding a potentially deadly Arctic air mass.

December 11 – Although the cold weather has hit Texas it is now a good time to take care of your garden and trees because most pests are dormant and there is less chance for infestation since most tree leaves have fallen off the tree. Tree leaves provide energy to the tree so during the winter months, pruning does not cost the tree as much energy.

December 14 – The Galveston Housing Authority announced that they plan to rebuild 569 public homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Ike. The Board voted to place 360 homes on the original four public housing sites and the rest throughout other areas of the island to keep public housing from becoming concentrated in one area of the city.

December 20 – The Galveston County Housing Recovery Assistance Program is up and running with about $99 million to make repairs and rebuild Ike damaged properties. The Galveston housing director announced that nearly 500 people had already applied for federal assistance to help repair their Hurricane Ike damaged homes.

December 30 – An oak tree that has been around for decades in the Galveston area was forced to be cut down, though the University of Texas Medical Branch has exhausted every effort to save the tree. The tree that served as a good luck charm for the students, but was damaged during Hurricane Ike and has never recovered. School officials are trying to find a way to immortalize the tree.


December 5 – Despite a duck population that is thriving having a large supply of groundwater sources, early season duck hunters were left "shaking their heads." However, there is optimism that with the right weather conditions, the late part of the duck season could wind up being great.

December 5 – Fishing on North Texas lakes is slow right now, but not because of a lack of fish but rather, a lack of fisherman unwilling to brave chilly conditions. A local fishing guide notes that although it might be a bit uncomfortable, the potential for landing large crappie fish would be worth a gamble.

December 10 – The "best duck hunting weekend in Texas for years" could be on the way in both the North and South Zones as the late-split duck season is due to open on the 12th. After ample rainfall the past few months provided plenty of water sources, extreme cold to the north of Texas forced ducks to the south during the recent closed period.

December 18 – Fishermen participating in the fourth qualifying Tuffman Bass Tournament on Belton Lake had to deal with rain, mist, and cold temperatures. Over 200 fishermen dealt with the weather conditions while trying to catch the largest bass, an 8.14 lb. largemouth bass caught by the eventual winner of the tournament.

December 19 – Cold windy weather could not keep the trout away for opening day at the Arena Park in Marshall. However, it did deter some fishermen and their children from spending too much time at the new public lake as brilliant sunshine could not significantly warm up the chilly temperatures.


December 12 – Attendance at the 28th annual Christmas at Old Fort Concho was hampered because of cold weather. Actors portraying the re-enactment of frontiersmen were forced to act in the bitter cold conditions and snow, which also forced event officials to cancel Children's Day at the fort.

December 13 – Cold, rain, and foggy weather in Killeen could not totally dampen the annual Wreathes Across America celebration, though one featured speaker was forced to cancel due to illness. Hundreds of ceremonies were held simultaneously across the United States, including Vermont and Wyoming where participants stood in several feet of snow.

December 15 – Mobile home camping spots near the San Luis Pass Bridge connecting Brazoria County Island to Galveston Island are finally ready to be rented after being destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Brazoria County Park officials say the San Luis Pass County Park s nearly 70 percent complete and most of the infrastructure work is complete.

December 17 – Carnival Warehouse magazine declared the Houston Livestock Show & rodeo as the most attended fair in America in 2009, surpassing the Texas State Fair, which perennially tops the list. The State Fair in Dallas was hampered by rain during its run in late September and October, while the weather was much better during March in the Houston area.

December 21 – Along with several other counties in Texas Bexar County has lifted a fireworks ban due to recent autumn rains with all types of fireworks allowed for personal use through January 1st. However, fire officials still recommend that those residents that want to see fireworks over the holiday attend a public showing.

December 21 – Cold weather can be a big deterrent from exercising outdoors, but with proper precautions the frigid weather doesn't have to be a major hindrance to your workout routine. Be sure to keep your hands warm with mittens (preferable to gloves), have layers to shed, and take extra time to stretch.


December 1 – A mixture of rain, sleet, and snow greeted drivers in the Lubbock area during the morning hours and by afternoon, local police had responded to 18 weather-related car accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation was doing their best to monitor and stay ahead of roadway conditions, but did expect freezing on the road surfaces.

December 1 – The Texas Department of Transportation is reporting that a foot of snow fell in Culberson and Jeff Davis counties in far West Texas. This caused traffic to be at a standstill as crews worked to clear the highway, leaving only a single land of traffic.

December 2 – Crews from the Texas Department of Transportation were out in numbers in Central Texas, two days before a rare snow storm was expected to hit the area. A spokesperson indicates a wintry event can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel and equipment and that the city of Austin has 5-days supply of materials.

December 3 –Workers at a fire department in Nacogdoches warned of being prepared before cold weather strikes, including a check of heating equipment and fire alarm batteries. Outside the home, it is important to cover up plants and insulate exposed pipes.

December 3 - Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews in Southeast Texas were preparing roads in Southeast Texas ahead of an approaching winter storm. TxDOT said most of the roads remained relatively safe with temperatures above freezing at the surface, but there was concern with temperatures expected to plummet overnight.

December 4 - Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews in West Texas were monitoring and treating roadways between Midland and El Paso for refreezing of precipitation that was melted by sunshine and daytime traffic.

December 5 – Veteran's Memorial Bridge and Rainbow Bridge were closed overnight because of treacherous driving conditions caused by a rare wintry weather event in Beaumont/Port Arthur. Dozens of traffic accidents were reported in the area, including one that claimed a life.

December 5 – A driver was killed in Houston when his vehicle jumped a curb at high speeds before crossing oncoming traffic and slamming into some trees. Another fatal accident occurred at an overpass on I-45 when several cars hit each other. These two accidents and several more in the Houston area were being blamed on icy roadways.

December 7 – Two passengers onboard a single-engine plane were killed after the plane crashed in a field near Niederwald. Officials are not sure if weather played a part in the accident, but visibility was reduced in overcast and misty conditions about six miles from the airport where the aircraft was due to land.

December 8 – The small Texas Panhandle town of Claude is mourning the loss of a 64 year-old driver of an SUV who was on his way to pick up students for school when he was involved in a fatal crash. The driver lost control of the vehicle on an icy patch of Texas 207 about 27 miles southeast of Amarillo before a 90-foot plunge into Palo Duro Canyon.

December 8 – The small Texas Panhandle town of Claude is mourning the loss of a 64 year-old driver of an SUV who was on his way to pick up students for school when he was involved in a fatal crash. The driver lost control of the vehicle on an icy patch of Texas 207 about 27 miles southeast of Amarillo before a 90-foot plunge into Palo Duro Canyon.

December 11 – Efforts to find a second man that was killed in a plane crash have been hindered because of rainy weather. Rescue workers found the body of one man and the remains of a twin-engine aircraft that crashed near Port Mansfield. Officials say that plane debris was found 10 miles from the crash site and that the search area is about 12 miles.

December 13 – A student from San Marocs was killed in a two-vehicle accident in Guadalupe County when a pickup lost control making a right turn and crossed a double yellow line. The truck crashed into a sedan carrying six students, including the deceased, on a wet and foggy Texas 123 just after making a right turn from FM 1978. Officials at the scene noted that the driving conditions were poor at the time of the crash, but did not blame the weather as the main cause.

December 16 – Authorities in Katy believe that speed, along with fog and rain, are to blame for the death of three teens. The three teens were in a pickup truck heading southbound on Katy-Hockley Road when it lost control and skidded into a large pine tree and caught fire.

December 21 – Texas AAA officials expect that weather conditions in the Panhandle will force travelers to leave earlier than planned for their vacations. Officials say that the snowfall in the area will cause unsafe driving conditions and caution drivers to be careful and well prepared for the weather. A safety preparedness kit in your automobile should include flashlights, blankets, snacks, and water.

December 23 – Wintry weather again brought snow and freezing rain to the El Paso area, becoming a hazard for motorists unprepared to drive in the snow. However, the cold weather did not deter last-minute shoppers from hitting the stores to finish up their Christmas shopping.

December 24 – Windy weather in San Antonio caused a power outage at Terminal 1. In Houston, stormy weather at Hobby Airport knocked power out for about 3 hours. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area a snowstorm made the use of de-icing equipment necessary, with about 125 flights cancelled in and out of the DFW airport because safety concerns.

December 24 – Snowy weather in Lubbock caused a big mess for drivers and emergency responders as blizzard-like conditions made it very hard to clear snow off the roadways and hard to see the dividing lines at times. Lubbock police had to close the fly-over at South Loop 289 and Interstate 27 due to dangerous conditions.

December 25 – Hundreds of motorists in the Lubbock region were stuck in their cars after slipping off frozen roadways and crashing into several feet-high snow drifts. Lubbock police say that they had trouble getting to stranded drivers and even emergency vehicles and personnel were getting stuck in the snow. The Texas Department of Public Safety office in Lubbock responded to 159 weather-related vehicle accidents.

December 25 – About 1,000 people had to spend Christmas Eve and morning in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport after flights were canceled due to a snow storm that hit the area on Christmas Eve. Fort Worth police say they responded to 140 major and 249 minor traffic accidents over a twenty-four hour period.

December 26 – Highway 287 is finally reopened after being closed on Christmas Day because of drifting snow and bad road conditions that led to multiple car accidents. The same winter storm knocked out power to about 2,500 Xcel Energy customers in the Amarillo area.

December 26 – Emergency responders did not have enough vehicles to rescue stranded motorists after a winter storm hit Wichita County. County officials explained that in many cases, emergency vehicles could not maneuver through the snow and ice. Sanding of the roads prior to the storm was largely ineffective due to the windy conditions accompanying the large amounts of snow.

December 26 – The normally ten-hour drive between Dallas and El Paso turned into a 26-hour drive for one man due to ice and snow that shut down Interstate 20 between the two cities This left him and his wife no choice but to sleep in their car along with 200 other cars that were also stranded on the road.

December 27 – Lubbock police say they responded to several accidents were residents did not slow down on the ice or did not see the ice entirely. Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety said they responded to six weather related accidents in the Lubbock areas, all of which were minor but caused by black ice on the roads.

December 29 – American Eagle was forced to cancel several flights from Laredo to Dallas due to rain and snow in North Texas from a storm that stretched from El Paso to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

December 29 – The fourth official snowfall of the winter season was welcomed by several El Paso residents but caused many hassles for drivers. The melting snow combined with freezing temperatures to create icy roads all over the Borderland and forced the closure of Scenic Drive and Transmountain.

December 30 – A massive snow storm that hit the area on Christmas Eve dumped about 13 inches of snow in Clay County caused numerous headaches on Highway 287. Law enforcement officials in the area said that some travelers were stranded in their vehicles for up to 12 hours, with some spending a bitterly cold night in their cars.

December 31 – According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Petersburg mother died after her card hit a patch of ice on her way to work about three miles north of Lubbock. Officials say the woman lost control of her vehicle around 9 in the morning before rolling and coming to a rest on its top, which trapped the mother inside.

December 31 – The public transit system in Amarillo has been running about 45 minutes late because of recent snowy weather. Officials warn that the transit system will only run as long as weather and road conditions are deemed to be safe.

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