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County-wide burn bans through January 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, December 3, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor, December 31, 2013

Drought Plaguing Texas has Eased—Near normal spring and summer rainfall has eased the grip of drought on at least the eastern half of the state. State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says that these drought conditions have ended in much of east and southeast Texas, but still continue to the west. The drought of 2011 is listed as the most intense drought on record with 99 percent of the state in severe drought or worse.
KTVT News, December 4, 2013

Texas Storm Improved Drought in Least Dire Areas—The ice storm that brought the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro area to a standstill will give the soil a good soaking for an area that was already doing well in the drought. Regions to the west of Interstate 35 still are doing the worst for drought improvement, especially for the Austin and San Antonio area where the Highlands Lakes are at a combined 35% capacity. The worst drought continues to be located from Wichita Falls to Vernon.
The Killeen Daily Herald, December 18, 2013

Drought Conditions in Place to End 2013—Despite the recent rainfall and ice accumulations, Hunt County will still end 2013 with a rainfall and water supply deficit. The precipitation wasn’t enough to fill up area lakes, and according to the US Drought Monitor all but the northeast corner of the county is listed as under moderate drought conditions.
The Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Kellar, December 27, 2013

Water Supply

Water Works: Weather, Old Pipes Lead to Broken Mains—Changes in weather are often the culprit behind water main breaks, and the drastic cold switch in Cameron has kept city workers busy. A large main break on North Travis Road is most likely the result of the cold and old piping and required the road to close while workers repaired the damage.
The Cameron Herald, Richard Stone, December 4, 2013

Drought Contingency Plan Lowered to Stage 1—Due to heavy rains Lake Corpus Christi has remained at an water level of 93.1 feet prompting interim City Manager Hector Hinojosa to lower water restrictions from stage 3 to voluntary stage 1 until further notice.
Alice Echo News Journal, December 13, 2013

Back to Stage III Pumping Limits for Edwards Aquifer—Once again the Edwards Aquifer, the main supplier for San Antonio’s water, has dropped below the threshold 640 foot mark to trigger stage three water restrictions. After a little over a month at stage two, stage three was declared again on December 16 and requires permit holders to reduce water consumption by 35%.
San Antonio Express News, Drew Joseph, December 17, 2013

Agricultural Impacts

2014 Commodity Outlook for Texas Hinges on Rainfall, Demand—Texas agriculture in the next year depends highly upon the weather, and this past year it was hit hard yet again by the drought, especially in the plains and south Texas region. Grains saw record crops this past year, and demand was high all across the board for every commodity. According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, if demand stays high and the weather cooperates this upcoming year may have calls for optimism.
The Abilene Reporter News, Blair Fannin, December 29, 2013

Inclement Weather

Cold/Winter Weather

Texas Storm Setting Temperature, Snow Records—The powerful winter storm that is moving across the state has already set snowfall and low temperature records for the state. In Amarillo the temperature dropped to 3 degrees Fahrenheit tying a record while the lowest high temperature for Abilene for the 6th was set at 25. Half an inch of snow fell in Wichita Falls, setting a record there as well as 0.4 inches at DFW Airport. The high in Del Rio of 39 degrees was the lowest high ever recorded for the 6th of December.
KTVT News, December 7, 2013

City hits a New Low with its ‘High’—A record low high temperature was set on Saturday in San Antonio as the mercury only hit 37 degrees Fahrenheit, four degrees below the old record made in 1972. The area was sparred the worst of the weather as only a few flurries and freezing drizzle has fallen, but with no major accumulations. North Texas on the other hand was hit hard with the entire area turning into a giant ice sheet.
San Antonio Express News, Sig Christianson, December 7, 2013

Falling Ice the New Threat from Winter Weather—As temperatures begin to warm up the new danger comes not only from the ice still on the ground, but also from the ice on rooftops. In Plano a cascade of falling ice was caught on video falling from the roof of an apartment building and crushing vehicles parked outside. The Shops at Legacy spent part of the day today scraping ice off of awnings to keep shoppers safe from the ice.
KTVT News, Susy Solis, December 9, 2013

As North Texas Warms Up, Costs of Storm Pile Up—Damage estimate for the ice storm have topped $30 million, mostly from tree limbs falling on homes and vehicles and broken water pipes. The storm also cost government authorities hundreds of thousands dealing with icy roads.
KERA News, Eric Aasen, December 12, 2013

Footprints in Snow Lead to Texas Burglary Suspect—Police received a phone call early on Sunday morning from a man who said that someone was sitting in his vehicle. When Amarillo police arrived the man fled on foot, but police followed his footprints in the snow to where he was hiding. The man faces multiple counts of burglary charges.
KXAN News, December 23, 2013

Cold front Exposes Dangerous Mud—As dry fronts roll through creekbeds tend to run dry as well with the high winds. The dryer creeks expose dangerous mud flats that are a hazard to people who try to walk on them. The Friendswood volunteer fire department has already rescued two people on separate incidents who got stuck in the mud. The mud is incredibly thick and can act as a sort of ‘quicksand’ trapping people in the grime.
KPRC News, Idolina Peralez, December 31, 2013


Wind Gusts Trample trampolines, uproot trees—Strong winds upwards of 50 mph were recorded in El Paso as a cold front passes through uprooting trees, damaging property, and making for hazardous driving conditions.
KFOX News, December 4, 2013

Mystery Dust Blankets Southeast Texas—People all over South Texas woke up to a red dust all over vehicles and questions poured into what exactly this dust was and where it came from. The best answer for this is a large dust storm in Central Mexico that kicked up dust towards the northeast which was then pulled into the rainstorm over Texas at the time. The rain brought the dust back down to Earth and onto everyone’s vehicles.
KTRK News, Karla Barguiarena, December 22, 2013

Other Climate Impacts


Winter Weather Prompts Friday Class Cancelations—As icy weather moved in Thursday night school districts across North Texas wasted no time canceling classes. Dallas and Fort Worth ISD both canceled all classes as did most if not all of the suburban school districts. The Texas A&M School of Law, UT Dallas, University of North Texas, UT Arlington, and most community collages also canceled classes for Friday.
The Herald Democrat, December 5, 2013

Ice Storm Damage Forces Closure, Evacuation of Ector ISD—As students returned to school after a four-day ice weekend on Tuesday they once again were sent home because of ice. Ice buildup on the roof of the high school and junior high school caused structural damage to the building as noticed by a sagging ceiling and a lopsided basketball goal in the gym. An engineer is being brought in to assess the damage and see what repairs need to be made.
KXII News, Steven Powell, December 10, 2013

UNT Students Unhappy After Ice Storm Causes Finals Crunch—Because of canceled classes during and after the ice storm, a week’s worth of final exams had to be pushed into three days. All finals would be taken between Wednesday and Friday, and for some students even Saturday. This left many students with multiple exams on one day and schedule shuffling to do. Over 7,000 students signed an online petition to get the exams posted online for students to take.
WFAA News, Carla Wade, December 11, 2013

Ice Storm Delays Education, Construction in Sherman and Denison School Districts—For a fourth day both Sherman and Denison will cancel classes after last Thursday nights ice storm. The number of canceled classes has outspent the years allotted two bad weather days and also has caused a delay in the construction of the new Munson Stadium.
The Herald Democrat, David Gonier and Nate Strauch, December 11, 2013

Animals/Aquatic Life

Calls Increase to the SPCA of ETX in Cold Weather—The number of calls to the Smith County SPCA office has increased by many since the cold weather blew into town. The local SPCA does not have a shelter, so they are putting animals anywhere they can so they may be safe from the weather, and as of now they are exceeding capacity with over 50 animals. The workers for now are hopeful that these lost and lonely animals may find someone to adopt them.
KYTX News, Jennifer Heathcock, December 6, 2013

Sea Turtles Found Motionless Along Texas Coasts Due to Cold Temperatures—The sudden shift in temperatures has caused sea turtles to go into cold shock as their body temperatures drop. With sudden cold shifts the turtles do not have time to get to warmer waters and go into a comatose. If this lasts too long, the turtles drown. Over 200 stunned turtles have been recovered since November 25 and were rehabilitated at local animal hospitals.
KPRC News, Idolina Peralez, December 11, 2013


Businesses Stand to Gain in Colder Weather—The owner of Cinergy Cinemas and Entertainment thought that all employees should be called and told not to come into work on Thursday due to the icy roads, but that changed when customers came out in droves to his movie theater. With closed schools and many workers forced to take a weather day, the movie theater seemed to be just the place for those that were not afraid of ice on the roads.
KWES News, Anum Valliani, December 5, 2013

Weather Forces E-T Circulation to Temporarily Suspend Delivery- Icy roads led to the Empire Tribune’s circulation department to suspend all newspaper deliveries until roads are deemed drivable and safe. Classes at Tarleton State have also been suspended along with classes at local school districts.
The Stephenville Empire-Tribune, December 6, 2013

Shoppers Crowd Local Grocery Stores Before Winter Weather- the biggest sellers at grocery stores across the Texoma area were bread, milk, eggs, canned chili, and snack foods as shoppers prepared ahead of time for winter weather. Most stores are open during the storm, but with minimal staffing and delayed deliveries expected.
The Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, December 6, 2013

Winter Weather Hurts Small Businesses—Temperatures have been below freezing for days and the ice on the roads keeps customers and employees out of small businesses. For small business owners, the ice has been bad news for the bottom line as the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Several businesses have lost full days due to the dangerous conditions on roads forcing them to close.
KWES News, December 7, 2013

Icy roads Stall DFW Grocery Deliveries—Impassable roads put grocery stores and restaurants in a tight spot as perishable items ran out of stock. Of particular issue was the closure of Interstate 35, where many truck drivers became stranded. Stores expect to be resupplied by Monday as roads slowly become passable.

KTVT News, Stephanie Lucero, December 9, 2013

Ice Storm Causes Gas Shortages in Dallas Fort Worth—The ice storm that hammered DFW has prevented gas tankers from refueling gas stations, and as a result many stations have run out of fuel. The problem is expected to continue as the week progresses and will not be solved completely until the ice has melted and trucks are able to get into town.
KETK News, Kristen Chapman, December 10, 2013

Abilene Businesses Take Hit in Profits from Last Week’s Ice Storm—Many businesses were forced to close their doors for days as road conditions were deemed too dangerous for employees and customers to get out. The lost sales totals up to thousands lost for businesses and also for employees who went days without work. Most businesses that closed due to ice were back open on Sunday trying to make up for lost time.

KTXS News, Braid Blainks, December 11, 2013

Drought Watch: Tree Sales Drying Up—Fewer Christmas trees and poinsettias are selling this year due to the decrease in stock on lots such as Smith’s Gardentown and Farms. Water conservation also drives larger buyers such as churches away. This upcoming year the nursery looks to do more business in water conscious plants.
KAUZ News, Alexandra McClung, December 13, 2013

UPS Working Around the Clock to Clear Ice Storm Backlog—The North Texas ice storm hit just as the holiday shipping rush got into full swing, and that left UPS and other shipping companies in a bind. The ice storm prevented deliveries and left a huge backlog of packages at distribution facilities. UPS has brought in extra hands from around the country to clear the backlog, but customers still wait for deliveries just hours before Christmas.
WFAA News, Teresa Woodward, December 23, 2013

Recent Rain Causes Fireworks Sales to Rise—The past three years have been hard on fireworks sales due to the drought, but the recent rainfall has boosted the number of customers coming out to local stands for the new year.
KVUE News, December 27, 2013


Icy Weather Could Impact Blood Supply—Icy weather spells trouble for the blood supply in hospitals. In Oklahoma 600 to 700 donors per day are needed to keep hospitals fully stocked, but the icy and snowy conditions ahead are expected to keep donors away.
KXII News, Helen Headlee, December 4, 2013

First Responders Handling Hundreds of Winter Weather Emergencies—With the ice all over North Texas the number of calls for medical assistance has increased dramatically to over 80 per hour for MedStar in Tarrant County. The calls are mostly due to slips on the ice, but normal calls come in just the same. In order to keep up with the increase in emergency calls more dispatchers and paramedics were brought in for better response time, but still the ice made it difficult for ambulances to get to several locations.
KTVT News, December 6, 2013


Drought Watch: Home Foundation Effects—The stage four drought is showing its effects upon the foundations of homes as the clay soil shrinks in the lack of moisture, pulling the foundation in different directions. A damaged foundation can show itself when cracks in walls and doors that won’t shut begin to appear. A foundation repair can cost anywhere between three and five thousand dollars.
KAUZ News, Taylor Barnes, December 18, 2013


Gov. Perry Issues Emergency Proclamation in Anticipation of Winter Weather—The governor of Texas has activated Texas military resources to direct resources across the state ahead of anticipated winter weather. Governor Perry urged Texans to remain aware of the weather and prepare for the storm. Texans may call 211 for information regarding winter weather resources.
KLTV News, Whitley Walden, December 5, 2013

TxDOT Ice Storm Response Hampered by Budget Cuts—Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says that the poor response of TxDOT to the ice crisis in North Texas was due to legislators in Austin cutting funding from the department. Jenkins says that billions are needed to keep up with repair of potholes caused by the ice.
KDFW News, December 10, 2013


Weekend Weather Forces Christmas Event Cancellations—Most holiday events in Port Neches, Bridge City, Groves, and Nederland have been canceled as forecasters call for cold temperatures and rain for the weekend.
The Port Arthur News, Sherry Koonce, December 4, 2013

Winter Weather Event Cancelations—Several weekend events across the Permian Basin have been canceled or postponed due to winter weather and cold including the Big Spring Christmas Parade, the Midland Jingle Bell Run,  Winter Wonderland in Midland Parade, The Heritage Holiday Christmas Parade of Lights in Odessa, and many more.
KWES News, December 5, 2013

Number of Volunteer Bell Ringers Declines Because of Winter Weather—Amarillo’s Salvation Army is having a problem getting volunteers to come out and ring bells for their annual holiday charity drive. Many volunteers are canceling due to the cold weather and this means less money coming in for the charity.
KFDA News, Madison Alewel, December 6, 2013

Cold Weather No Match for Weekend Fun Seekers—A cold snap and rain still couldn’t keep many away from Christmas at the Creek in College Station. Families arrived to see the lights, get a picture with Santa, and get some hot chocolate while watching performances on the main stage.
KBTX News, David Norris, December 6, 2013

Heart of Texas Bowl Canceled Due to Weather- Expected winter weather has caused the organizers for the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl to cancel the event. The game was Tarleton State’s first bowl appearance in 27 years and the game will not be rescheduled, ending the football team’s season suddenly.
The Stephenville Empire Tribune, Brad Keith, December 6, 2013

Dallas Marathon Canceled Due to Winter Storm- It was announced on Friday that Sunday’s Dallas Marathon would be canceled due to icy road conditions and bitter cold. The race was expected to draw over 25,000 runners and many more spectators to the city.
The Huffington Post, December 6, 2013

Winter Storm Puts North Texas Under Sheet of Ice—Between 1 and 3 inches of ice have covered the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex overnight on Thursday, causing chaos for travelers and residents. The ice required the cancelation of over 1,100 flights at DFW Airport and 80 flights at Love Field. Interstate 30 and 35 were both closed, and over 260,000 customers were without power. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit System was on a limited schedule and the commencement ceremony for fall graduates at UTD was canceled.
The Dallas Business Journal, Lance Murray, December 6, 2013

Ice Damage Closes Top Golf in The Colony—The weight of ice on the nets of the golf attraction Top Golf in The Colony was too much for the metal pillars holding up the 120 foot net. The entire netting is in danger of collapse as six of the metal pillars started to give way under the weight of ice. The facilities in Allen and The Colony are both closed until repairs can be made.
KTVT News, December 8, 2013

Santa On Hold… Again—Last week the annual Greenville Downtown Christmas Parade was postponed due to ice, this week it has been postponed due to a stead cold drizzle. Event organizers kept in mind safety and comfort of parade attenders in the decision and have rescheduled the parade to the 17th.
The Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Kellar, December 14, 2013


Winter Weather Delays MoPac Construction—The initial construction phase for MoPac has been delayed for a few days as winter weather and cold rain hits the Austin area. The roadway, which carries 180,000 cars daily was supposed to have its lanes restriped, but that has been delayed till the following week due to the weather. The overall reconstruction project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
KXAN News, Sophia Beausoliel, December 5, 2013

DFW Weather Cancels Beaumont Flights—The only flights to and from Beaumont’s Jack Brooks Regional Airport have been canceled as icy weather has slammed the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The American Eagle flights at 11:10 am and 4:50 pm have both been canceled and passengers should check with flight status online for any changes.
The Beaumont Enterprise, Dan Wallach, December 6, 2013

Deadly Pileup in West Texas—Icy weather is believed to have caused a deadly pileup at milemarker 190 on Interstate 10 east of El Paso. The wreck involved ten 18-wheelers and resulted in the death of one person. As of right now the interstate is shut down as the cleanup takes place.
KEYE News, December 7, 2013

Good Samaritans Step up to Help Motorists During Ice Storm—Hundreds if not thousands of motorists became stranded on roadways across North Texas during the ice storm and this led good Samaritans such as Chance Craven to help out. Armed with a 4X4 F250 truck, Craven and several others across North Texas pulled many vehicles out of ditches and up hills to safety.
KDFW News, Brandon Todd, December 10, 2013

‘Moguls For Cars:’ What’s this Cobbleston Ice That’s Covering North Texas Roads?—A result of sand and ice being packed together onto roadways by traffic, cobblestone ice is no laughing matter. The ice is too thick and hard for snow plows to be of any use, and the compression by vehicles forms ice potholes that tear vehicles up when they hit them over and over again. Experienced truck drivers do not mess with road conditions such as these and many have been hunkered down for days at truck stops.
KERA News, Stalla M. Chavez and BJ Austin, December 10, 2013

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Reopens After Falling Ice—The 400 foot arch on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas posed a threat to drivers when ice sheets began falling onto commuters shortly after 10 a.m.. Police officers quickly shut down the bridge until no more ice was seen falling onto the roadway.
WFAA News, Matt Goodman, December 11, 2013

Highway 287 North of Amarillo Temporarily Down After Multiple Wrecks—A 20 car pile-up is blamed on icy weather on Highway 287 north of Amarillo this Saturday. This prompted police to shut down the highway in both directions while crews clean up the wreck. Several people were injured and taken to the hospital, but no fatalities were reported.
KFDA News, December 22, 2013

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