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December brought temperatures that were often warmer than normal, the entire state seeing temperatures above normal on average with the largest anomalies in west central and north central Texas. Precipitation varied more than temperatures with the Upper Coast and Lower Valley seeing normal or above normal precipitation while the rest of the state, with some small exceptions, were below normal. Drought conditions tended to worsen over the course of the month, though changes from last month were not large. Dallas area reservoirs were at 62.3% of capacity, compared to 61.6% at the beginning of the month. The Mineral Wells area is making plans to install a reverse osmosis well in order to have enough water, costing $6 million. If they did not do this, the county might run out of water by spring. Population growth is still a concern for reservoir use moving forward, and there are concerns about the $2 billion SWIFT initiative’s ability to combat this.

Agriculturally, the drought has caused many rice farmers to lose their jobs. In order to fix this problem, an additional reservoir is going to be made in Lake City. The new reservoir will be the size of the Marble Falls and Lady Bird area lakes combined. Some ranchers still have to look to other sources of income, due to their cattle struggling in the prolonged drought. Some have even had to move their cattle northward, starting back in 2011. There are currently only 3.91 million cows in Texas as of 2014 compared to the 5.35 million cows in 2005.

The beginning of the month was more calm than the end of the month, which brought some street closures. Parts of I-10 were closed due to cold precipitation, and many roads were more congested due to the major roads’ closings. Also, a heavy fog spell caused 50 flights to be delayed, and 40 flights to be redirected to land at a new airport.
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