Skip Nav

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through January 1

December 3 – With little rain and an overwhelming amount of dry vegetation, Bexar County officials have been forced to look into placing a burn ban over the area.

December 8 – Bexar County has placed a burn ban on all outdoor burning due to a very dry summer, fall and winter.

December 10 – Comal County has joined several other counties in the list of counties with burn bans in effect and residents may not light fires within city limits.

December 10 – High winds and dry conditions have forced county officials in Young County to enact a burn ban for 90 days.

December 12 – Although Brown County has not placed a burn ban on the county, Brownwood city officials have decided to ban certain types of fireworks due to the dry conditions.

December 13 – Howard County Commissioners missed the deadline to be able to enact a fireworks ban for New Year's celebrations. Although there is no fireworks ban in effect, a burn ban is in effect for the area.

December 13 – Residents in Walker County will not be able to buy aerial fireworks to celebrate the New Year because of a burn ban and emergency fireworks ban enacted by county officials.

December 13 – Midland and Ector County have decided to pass a burn ban after 79 days without rain.

December 14 – Warmer than normal temperatures, gusty winds, low humidity, and little to no rain have forced city officials in Tarrant County to place a 90-day outdoor burn ban on the area.

December 15 – Austin County residents will have to celebrate the New Year without the use of fireworks. Austin County Commissioners have deiced to ban some holiday fireworks because of drought conditions.

December 17 – With the KBDI quickly approaching 500, the Hill County Court has decided to implement a county burn ban.

December 26 – An inch of rain was not enough to get Montgomery County officials to lift the current burn ban as it was not enough to get the county out of the threat for wildfires.

December 27 – Lubbock County fire departments are reporting that they have responded to 58 grassfires in the month of December alone and officials in Lubbock County have placed the county under a burn ban.

December 28 – Recent rains ended Reeves County's 90-day dry spell but it was not enough to lift the burn ban in effect, and county commissioners approved another 90-day burn ban.


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, December 7, 2010
U.S. Drought Monitor, December 28, 2010

December 8 – The National Weather Service has stated that the 2 month period of October to November is the state's eighth driest on record.

December 9 – According to the National Weather Service in El Paso the Borderland has not received rain for 48 days and no rain is expected any time soon.

December 10 – Brown County is facing severe drought according to the United States Drought Monitor, and the drought is so severe that Lake Brownwood is 9 feet below spillway.

December 11 – The National Weather Service has officially placed the Rio Grande Valley in a drought and the La Nina weather pattern is to blame.

December 16 – Odessa has officially tied a record for consecutive days without measurable rainfall at 82 days, tying a record set back in 1946.

December 17 – Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell County are all in a severe drought and the fear is that these areas will have to wait for summer time hurricanes to bring rains that will break the drought.

December 19 – El Paso hit the 60-day mark of consecutive days with no measurable rain.

December 21 – Governor Rick Perry has declared 244 of the 254 counties in Texas disaster areas because of recent drought conditions and an impending wildfire threat.

December 21 – The National Climatic Data Center has announced that if Texas does not receive a statewide average of at least 0.78 inches of rain by the end of December, then the October-December 2010 will be the driest such period since 1950.


December 3 – Recent drought conditions have increased the wildfire threat, but in some parts of the state, Texas Forest Service firefighters are actually starting fires to help the forest grow.

December 6 – Scarce rainfall has made brush fires more likely in South Texas, and this danger will continue to increase as the dryness continues.

December 7 – Fire fighters in Limestone County believe that a heat lamp used to keep a pet warm started a house fire where a women and her disabled son had to be rescued by a Deputy.

December 7 – Ongoing dry conditions are causing more work for volunteer fire fighters in Floresville, who recently put out a large brush fire northwest of Floresville.

December 8 – The National Weather Service in South Texas is warning residents that recent dry conditions and lack of rain is perfect for fires to spread quickly. Bexar County is currently under a 90-day burn ban.

December 9 – A severe wildfire season is expected for much of Texas during the winter because of the La Nina climate pattern. According to the National Weather Service and the Texas Forest Service residents of Texas should take extra precautions when outside and using fire.

December 11 – Wind and drought conditions in Southeast Texas prompted the National Weather Service to put out a red flag warning for a high fire danger in the area.

December 14 – The Goliad County AgriLife Extension Agency warns landowners to be aware of current drought conditions and reminds producers to be thinking in terms of mitigation, fuel management, and prescribed burning.

December 16 – Recent dry conditions in Cross Plains has brought back many horrible memories of a wildfire season that devastated the town back in 2005.

December 17 – After months of no rain and dry conditions, firefighters in Odessa have to combat wildfires on a normal basis including a massive grassfire for which 15 different agencies responded to.

December 19 – Firestorms in the last five years have increased in number and this winter the Southern Plains could see even more because of current drought conditions.

December 20 – The National Weather Service in Odessa says that the La Nina weather pattern is causing warmer temperatures with less precipitation, which has put the area in great danger for grass and wild fires.

December 21 – In September, San Antonio saw 9 inches of rain in association with Tropical Storm Hermine, but since then the city has received no substantial rainfall. Now city authorities along with the state forestry service are warning citizens to be careful because the risk of wildfires is increasing.

December 22 – A trash fire that got out of control not only started a grass fire, but also caused a fire that destroyed a home. Fire officials say that the very dry conditions coupled with the red flag warning in places made the area around Fort Worth very vulnerable to fires.

December 23 – Lubbock County Emergency Management Coordinators say that appreciable rainfall during much of 2010, which has been followed by short-term drought conditions, has made for very explosive wildfire conditions in the area. They say that when rain comes vegetation grows and then drought kills all the vegetation, leaving dry grass capable of going up in flames at any minute.

December 27 – More than 900 acres of grasslands in Oldham and Deaf Smith counties were destroyed after they caught fire. Authorities say the fire was started by sparks from a pickup truck on I-40.

Water Supply

December 4 – The city of Plano is planning to change its water billing system. City officials say that the current system goes against water conservation efforts and costs Plano tens of millions of dollars.

December 5 – North Texas is running very low on water and now the North Texas Municipal Water District is thinking of reopening the pipeline from Lake Texoma to help relieve the water shortage. There is just one problem with this; Lake Texoma is ridden with the zebra mussel, a species that contaminates the water.

December 9 – The Lower Colorado River Authority is encouraging everyone in and around the city of Austin to conserve water because the water supply going into next spring is uncertain with current drought conditions.

December 15 – Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is asking the New Braunfels City Council to remove a planned discussion of the river flow rate from its meeting agenda until scientists can take a closer look at the issue. Recent drought predictions had the GBRA looking into discussing the flow rate.

December 18 – The Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District board has decided to keep the area under stage 3 drought restrictions.

December 19 – Kilgore City Council is thinking about replacing older water meters with newer ones that could help people conserve water and catch costly leaks.

December 31 – Although the effects of the current drought are somewhat masked by the cooler winter weather, some lake levels in North and Central Texas are more than three feet below normal.

Agricultural Impacts

December 1 – Sorghum harvests in the High Plains are coming to a close and produces say that yields are above average thanks to good fall weather and rains.

December 3 – According to the United States Drought Monitor producers south of I-20 are experiencing moderate to severe drought, which has left wheat crops across the region suffering.

December 7 – In the Coastal Bend area, livestock producers have had to use supplemental feeding because a lack of rainfall has stopped winter forages from growing. In East Texas, the water levels at ponds, creeks, and ground water sources are very low.

December 18 – Farmers in West Texas are struggling to keep their farms growing crops with drought conditions plaguing the region.

December 18 – Event though rain is hard to find and cotton harvests ended early, West Texas cotton producers say they are happy with this season's yield.

December 22 – Drought conditions and insects are not the only worry for pecan producers in Fabens, Texas. Producers say that theft is on the rise because of the high price for pecans, and many have had to hire extra security to protect their farms.

December 23 – Ranchers in Montague County are worried that if the lack of rain and drought conditions continues, then hay prices could soar due to supply and demand.

December 29 – Drought is having a significant impact on the North Texas winter wheat crop, which is sitting in the field and waiting for moisture. Additionally, farmers are concerned about the availability of hay going into the new year if rainfall continues to be scarce.

December 29 – Farmers in the Lower Valley are concerned about the impact of dry weather on their crops and the potential for brush fires to destroy their crops.

December 30 – The Livestock Forage Disaster Program deemed Anderson, Brewster, Burleson, Fayette, Lee, Pecos, Waller and Washington counties eligible for livestock disaster aid.

Inclement Weather

December 23 – Dust and rain in Chappell Hill caused power outages for more than 1,000 Bluebonnet Electric customers.

Cold/Wintry Weather

December 1 – After a gas line ruptured at a San Antonio's resident's mobile home the resident was left without gas for almost two months during winter temperatures.

December 1 – A pot-belly wood-burning stove is to blame for a home fire in Midland County. Local fire fighters say the home owner was using the stove to keep warm when it caught the home on fire.

December 6 – Cooler temperatures in Grayson County have many residents looking for ways to keep warm. Two recent home fires in the Howe are thought to have started because citizens were trying to keep warm in vacant homes.

December 9 – A 23 degree reading at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke the old daily record of 27 degrees set back in 1978 and 2005.

December 10 – Texoma residents are rushing out to the stores to buy insulation materials as the colder weather approaches the area.

December 11 – Officials are blaming a faulty heater and cold nighttime temperatures for a fire that engulfed a Central Laredo home.

December 17 – More than 9 inches of snow was recorded in Amarillo after strong winter storm passed through the Texas Panhandle.

December 19 – A man using his fire place to stay warm during cold nights caught his home on fire in Northwest San Antonio.

December 22 – A fight between a real estate developer and a gas provider in Tomball has left an entire subdivision without hot water during the winter month.

December 25 – Christmas day was the coldest day of the winter season in Abilene as the high temperature only reached 37 degrees.

December 26 – Residents in the Woodlands are being reminded to cover up their plants and pipelines with a Hard Freeze Warning issued for the area.

December 26 – Cold temperatures and residents trying to stay warm led to a home fire in San Antonio that forced firefighters to rescue a dog from the burning home.

December 30 – Snowflakes flying in the air caught some residents of El Paso off guard, many of whom were wearing short sleeves and basking in warmer weather earlier in the week.

December 30 – More than 2,000 residents of El Paso lost power as winds of over 50 mph downed power lines in the northeastern part of town.

December 30 – The city of Wichita Falls has reported 28 fires in trash bins this December and is asking residents using fireplaces to keep warm this winter to make absolutely certain a fire is out before depositing ashes or coals.

December 31 – An El Paso family is without heat after strong winds blew part of the roof off of their home.


December 28 – A Belton women who lost her home when Nolan Creek flooded during the passage of Tropical Storm Hermine has finally received financial assistance to buy a mobile home.


December 4 – A man out shooting turkeys was able to spot a dust devil that pick up objects in its path then disappeared into the day.

December 15 – San Angelo broke a daily high temperature record as the mercury soared to 85 degrees, breaking the old record of 82 set 102 years ago in 1908.

December 20 – The maximum temperature hit 85 degrees in San Angelo, smashing the old record of 80 degrees back in 1921, the second warm weather record San Angelo has set in the past week.

December 21 – New daily high temperatures records were set in both Abilene and San Angelo as afternoon temperatures soared into the middle 80s.


December 12 – State officials are asking the Supreme Court to reconsider a beach ruling that would stop the restoration of eroded Galveston beaches that were damaged during Hurricane Ike.

December 14 – Although the 2011 hurricane season does not start until next June 1st, hurricane prediction experts are predicting that next year's season will be a busy one and the coastal United States might be a target for some of the storms.

December 20 – Nearly two years after Hurricane Ike hit the Galveston coastline, residents are still working to clean up debris that was left behind by the storm.

December 28 – The Texas Department of Rural Affairs has decided to place two backup generators at the Kickapoo water plant and the Woodlawn Sewage Plant to help keep the plants running in case a large storm like Hurricane Ike hits the area.

December 31 – College students from Nacogdoches will spend part of their winter break in the Lower Valley helping residents that have not fully recovered from Hurricane Dolly.

Severe Weather

December 24 – The fourth weather related record was broken in San Angelo when cold front blew through the area and dropped 0.99 inches of precipitation. Meteorologists also had to issue a tornado warning when a funnel was spotted.

December 25 – A lightning strike appears to be the culprit for a fire that destroyed a home on Clayton Hill in Cy-Fair.

Other Climate Impacts

Animals/Aquatic Life

December 2 – Water plans for the two rivers feeding the Galveston Bay are concerning to crab, oyster, shrimp, fish, and bird conservationists. Scientists say that the state's proposed water management plan for the Trinity and San Jacinto rivers will leave the critter-rich Galveston Bay without enough water and during drought conditions wildlife could be at risk.

December 4 – Mild weather, blue crabs, and plenty of water have the whooping cranes arriving in Aransas County.

December 7 – During cooler months, animals can chew through and destroy electrical lines and this was the case in Mineola, where a squirrel caused a power outage by chewing through a power line.

December 23 – Two years ago Hurricane Ike devastated the Texas oyster industry, and this year the industry was once again destroyed by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


December 4 – More than two years after Hurricane Dolly hit San Benito, the local housing authority plans to open newly renovated units of the former Lasby Park Terrace apartment complex.


December 2 – Just as temperatures are beginning to drop in New Braunfels, Centerpoint Energy has announced that they will be dropping their natural gas prices.

December 5 – During the heat of July, a Carrollton couple's air conditioner went out and they claim that the $576 in damage was caused by a power surge that the Oncor power company was responsible for and initially refused to pay.

December 15 – In a lawsuit filed in Houston, the Clear Creek Independent School District is suing a contractor for not cleaning up debris left by Hurricane Ike that was promised to clean-up.

December 16 – Texas residents will be seeing higher electric bills as cold weather moves in and Christmas lights are put up for display. Residents are encouraged to use LED Christmas lights, which use 90 percent less energy, and are discouraged from using heating blankets and space heaters.

December 24 – Last winter, North Texas residents saw very high electric bills because of the record snow storms but this year lower electric bills are anticipated due to power conservation by homeowners and warmer winter temperatures.


December 2 – With winter temperatures hitting the Houston area a new, unnamed flu-like virus is making the rounds.

December 6 – Cold weather increases the chance of people getting sick and medical officials say that a flu-like virus is afflicting residents of the San Antonio area.

December 13 – Mild winters in Texas keep snow birds coming back year after year.

December 24 – Rains that fell the day before Christmas did not stop last minute shoppers from taking care of business in Austin.


December 5 – San Marcos officials say that they may soon approve a program that would allow residents to have their own wind turbines and solar panels.

December 5 – A number of Arlington residents attended a workshop learned how to build rain harvesting units to help them water their plants and vegetables in their backyards.

December 11 – Scientists say that even though winter is here, it does not mean that gardening must come to a halt. Gardeners in South Texas should be on the lookout for burr clover and false dandelions, two common winter lawn weeds.

December 18 – Even during the mild Texas winters, certain types of evergreen conifers can grow in Central Texas.

December 27 – Experts say that the lack of recent winter rains might affect the Texas wildflowers this year.

December 27 – Experts in Victoria say that winter rain showers are needed to ensure the growth of local spring flowers.

December 28 – Drought conditions are causing bluebonnets across the state not to germinate properly and this could cause a shortage during the springtime.


December 3 – Experts say that if drought conditions continue across the state of Texas, deer, turkey, quail and other wildlife could be negatively affected in the near future.

December 12 – Cooler temperatures and windy conditions welcomed hunters as the pheasant hunting season began.

December 22 – The effects of a recent lack of rain across Texas might well be felt during both this waterfowl season and next year's season.


December 2 – Athletic trainers in San Angelo are reminding residents to dress properly during winter workouts to ensure proper regulation of the body's temperature.

December 6 – Two years after Hurricane Ike, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are planning on unveiling restoration plans for the Galveston Island State Park.

December 8 – A new construction project on the Terry Hershey Park Hike and Bike Trail will not only broaden access to the trail but also reduce flooding and erosion to the same area.

December 29 – The TexFest outdoor festival in Houston planned to accompany the Texas bowl between Illinois and Baylor was cancelled due to rainfall.


December 14 – Even though temperatures are warm, Texas Department of Transportation crews are preparing for a snow event in Houston that is unlikely to occur, though heavy snowfall did occur last winter.

December 16 – The city of Amarillo has announced that as snow and ice start to build in the city of Amarillo, sanding trucks will hit the roads and over-passes first. If more than four inches of snow falls, snow plows will be brought in.

December 20 – Early-morning fog caused low visibility at San Antonio International Airport and combined with slick roads to cause several traffic accidents throughout the city.

December 24 – Wet weather in Temple caused roads to become dangerous as motorist took to the streets. The buildup of oil and lubricants during a prolonged dry period made roads hazardous for travelers as it combined with the falling rain.

December 25 – Rain on Christmas Eve might be to blame for the death of a Grand Prairie man that police say lost control of his car when he was driving.

December 25 – A Northwest Vista College student was killed in Bexar County after he lost control of his car on slick rainy roads.

December 26 – A winter storm in the Northeast did not directly affect Texas but cancellations at many of the major Northeastern hubs had a trickledown effect and left many Austin Bergstrom International Airport passengers stranded.

December 29 – A fuel truck spilled 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel on a rain-slicked Loop 1604 in San Antonio after colliding with a car. The accident brought traffic to a halt for several hours and was one of dozens of accidents in the San Antonio area.

December 31 – Just a trace of rain combined with 53 mph winds that whipped up a dusty top soil in the Lubbock area to create a mud bath for area vehicles.

Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.