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County-wide burn bans through January 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, December 1, 2015
U.S. Drought Monitor, December 29, 2015

Flooding Autumn Rain Takes Texas Out of Drought -- Texas is now drought free after a month and a half of seemingly continuous rainfall. This year has fluctuated with flooding and drought conditions. As of today, less than four percent of the state is in the abnormally dry category, which is not considered drought.
KBTX, Shel Winkley, December 3, 2015

Drought monitor: No drought in Texas -- The latest drought monitor for Texas is drought-free! Looking back a year ago to this time in December, portions of the state were in extreme drought. Even though there was a dry streak of a couple months during the summer, the arrival of fall came with rain, and lots of it. Most portions of Texas have broken some sort of rain record over the course of this year.
KEYE, Collin Myers, December 3, 2015


Texas Crop, Weather for Dec. 1, 2015 -- The freezing and wet weather delayed harvesting of cotton. In the High Plains this weather has caused a decrease in the quality of the cotton, although the deterioration of the cotton fibers takes multiple events and time in order for the effects to be very noticeable. The planting of wheat in the Coastal Bend area was delayed due to continued wet conditions. For East Texas, the wet lands made for fair to very poor conditions of pastures and rangeland.
AgriLife, Robert Burns, December 1, 2015

Today’s Weather: Lubbock, Texas gets 10 inches of snow -- The widespread snow cover is helping the wheat crops stay insulated for this winter time. River flooding is expected to persist in Texas during the next few weeks. CattleNetwork, Agricultural Meteorologist Brad Rippey, December 29, 2015
Inclement Weather

Severe thunderstorms may hit San Antonio on Saturday -- Areas including Houston, San Antonio and Dallas might see some severe weather this weekend. Damaging winds will be very possible, and tornadoes cannot be ruled out yet. Tornadoes are rare in the spring, but they can still happen.
KGBT, Associated Press, December 9, 2015

A wet and stormy weekend is on the menu -- A strong storm system is forecast to move through Texas this upcoming weekend. The main threat will be widespread rains, potentially severe thunderstorms, strong winds, and isolated tornadoes. Excessive rainfall could create even more flooding problems for the area. Two to four inches of rain are expected to fall mostly Saturday night, but some continuing into Sunday.
KTRE, Brad Hlozek, December 10, 2015

Strong storms expected to bring potentially severe weather this weekend -- Potentially severe weather is expected across southeast texas overnight Saturday and into Sunday. One to four inches is expected across the area. Rain will begin slowly Saturday morning followed by a line of strong storms Saturday night with some possibly severe. Some storms could produce damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.
ABC 13, Tim Heller, December 11, 2015

Stormy weather possible this weekend -- East Texas could see 1 to 3 inches of rainfall by the end of the weekend. Warm, unstable air ahead of an approaching cold front will create light rainfall Saturday afternoon. Strong to severe storms will be associated with the arriving coldfront overnight Saturday. As the cold front moves out of the area temperatures will remain on the cooler side, but still a bit too high for the likes of December.
KLTV, Kerri Compton, December 11, 2015

Wicked winds blow train cars off bridge in Texas -- Severe storms overnight Saturday produced straight line winds that caused damage to train cars and power lines. A train was blown off the tracks and onto a roadway in Lufkin. Elsewhere near Lufkin, power lines were downed. The National Weather Service said the worst is mostly over with up to an inch of additional rainfall expected.
Fox News, Staff Writer, December 13, 2015

Weather service: 80mph winds blow train off Lufkin bridge -- The storm blew 64 train cars off of the bridge. In addition to that, car ports were left in shreds and trees were uprooted in the area. The damage was not done by a tornado, but instead by a line of powerful straight line winds with thunderstorms. At the time, the train cars were empty, which might have helped cause them to tip over.
KTRE, Malcolm Hornsby, December 14, 2015

Winds blow rail cars from Texas overpass -- Some of the 64 train cars fell from the Angelina and Neches River Railroad overpass onto U.S. 69 and Loop 287. It was expected to take the crews two days to remove all of the train cars.
KWTX, Associated Press, December 14, 2015

Residents in two East Texas cities recovering from same day storm damage -- Some people were still cleaning up the mess three days after the storm. The EF2 tornado hit the Lindale area, about 20 miles away from Hawkins. The National Weather Service said the damage in the Hawkins area was most likely from straight line winds, or downbursts, which can seem similar to a tornado.
KLTV, Paul Rivera, December 15, 2015

Thunderstorm chances Tuesday -- Even though December 22 was the first official day of winter, it was not forecasted to feel like it due to the warm temperatures and high humidity. The Austin area was not expected to receive any of the extremely severe weather. Mainly areas North and East of Austin were in danger.
KEYE, Collin Meyers, December 21, 2015

Southeast Texas’ Christmas forecast calls for warm weather, heavy rains, possibly severe weather -- The forecast for Christmas and the weekend is warm temperatures with chances of rain all weekend. Storms are expected to form starting Christmas Eve and possibilities of severe storms comes by Sunday the 27th and might include damaging winds and tornadoes. Jefferson and Orange counties are expected to have above normal temperatures and about 1.5 inches of rain during the weekend, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms. The probability of these storms increases as you move further north.
Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, December 23, 2015

Wednesday’s Weather: Isolated storms before noon, possibly severe. Skies clear afternoon with highs in the mid 70s -- A tornado warning was issued at 5:45 in the morning and was effective until 7 a.m. for most of East Texas. The main threats expected would be damaging winds and hail. By the afternoon, the weather was predicted to have clear skies and temperatures in the 70s. On Christmas scattered showers are expected throughout the day for the northern half of East Texas. The high chance of rain will stay through the weekend. With all the rain in the upcoming forecast the main concern is flooding.
KLTV, Sarah Fletcher, December 23, 2015

The threat of severe weather in Central Texas is ramping up -- This weekend an upper level system is bringing strong to severe thunderstorms into the region. The risk of heavy rainfall, localized flash flooding, tornadoes and straight line winds cannot be ruled out. With it, the cold front will bring the high temperatures to the 40s and a freeze is possible later in the week.
KEYE, Eric Ziglin, December 25, 2015

At Least 6 People Killed in North Texas Storms: Police -- There was significant storm damage in Rowlett and Waxahachie. There were 40 homes destroyed or damaged, and one non serious injury. Damage was also reported by Farm-to-Market Road 664 by Ovilla, where 30 homes were damaged. severe storms bring damage to portions of Ellis, Dallas, and Collin counties.
The game between the Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks was delayed due to the tornado threat.
NBC, Staff Writer, December 26, 2015

Significant Weather

Severe Weather

Tornado damages building, uproots trees near Willis -- Saturday’s storms brought a confirmed tornado to the area of Willis just north of Houston. The tornado snapped tree limbs, knocked down power lines, flipped mobile homes, and destroyed roofs. Emergency crews shut down a section of Highway 75 for most of the night and no major injuries were reported.
KPRC, Samantha Ptashkin, December 12, 2015

Lindale Mayor declares city disaster area; about 50 homes believed damaged -- Lindale Mayor has declared the city a disaster area after an estimated 50 homes were destroyed by a tornado Saturday. The American Red Cross is in the area providing shelter for those whose homes were severely damaged. According to witnesses there was no warning before the tornado struck. However it was brief and no injuries have been reported.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Cory McCoy, December 12, 2015

East Texas residents pick up pieces after tornado -- The National Weather Service has confirmed the tornado that struck the city of Lindale was an EF-2 with winds up to 120 mph. About 50 homes were damaged with about 5 homes sustaining major damage and 40 with minor damage. Residents are extremely grateful no one was killed and the rebuilding process will begin as soon as a plan is devised and the weather cooperates.
KSLA, Nick Lawton, December 13, 2015

Texas towns clean up after tornado -- The tornado damaged homes and businesses in Willis. From the current count, about 6-8 homes were severely damaged and 30-35 with less damage. Also, a restaurant, trailer homes and a fabrication company were also damaged. There were no major injuries reported.
KYTX, Kris Kirst, December 14, 2015

Residents Clean up after tornado in Texas -- An EF2 tornado struck Willis County, Texas and went through amosite home and RV park. The major part of the damage was more on three RV side and a nearby restaurant, Fish Pond Restaurant, welcomed people in for shelter. Ironically a roofing company suffered damage to its roof during the storm. Other buildings were damaged as well and the power lines were damaged and trees were uprooted.
KTRK, Staff Writer, December 24, 2015

8 Dead as Tornado Strikes Dallas Area, Multiple buildings destroyed -- In addition to the 8 deaths there were numerous injuries across the Northeastern portion of Texas. The storms also knocked out power to thousands. The path of destruction from the tornadoes was 40 miles.
ABC, Tom Liddy, December 27, 2015

This month is now the deadliest December for tornadoes in over 60 years -- Only ten people had died from tornadoes before December 2015, and it was expected to be the lowest mortality rate since 1901, which had 12 deaths. Then the storms came, and there was a total of 20 deaths, making this December the second deadliest in recorded history of storms. There were also tornadoes reported in the United States for seven days straight, from the 21st to the 27th, making it the most consecutive days with tornadoes in December. The previous record with six straight days was during the 1982 El Niño.
The Washington Post, Angela Fritz, December 28, 2015

Severe weather fallout? Texas, Midwest and beyond -- At least 11 people died and many more were injured by the tornadoes that came through the day after Christmas. During the same weekend, there were also storms in other states including snow in New Mexico through the Midwest and flooding in Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri. The estimated total of deaths throughout the United States due to storms this weekend was about 48 people.
The Bulletin, David Warren, December 29, 2015

Austin firefighter recounts response to North Texas tornadoes -- After the tornados hit Garland and Rowlette, 16 firefighters were sent there to aid in the search and rescue missions. One of the fire fighters, Eddie Martinez described the incident and said there was a major area where everything was flattened out, and as you went further from the touchdown point, things were less and less damaged. The firefighters who came to help were part of the Texas Task Force One. They were able to help a woman out of a damaged home, and a man out of a truck he had been stuck in all night.
KEYE, Adam Hammons, December 29, 2015

National Weather Service Increases Number of confirmed tornadoes to 12 -- The two additional tornadoes found were classified as EF0’s and were located in Hillsboro and Maypearl. There are no known fatalities or injuries from these two tornadoes. An EF1 tornado hit Farmersville county, and originally was thought to be part of the tornado that hit Copeville. The EF3 tornado, which struck in Midlothian did not cause any death, but it severely damaged two churches, an elementary school, roofs and homes. This year was the highest for tornadoes in North Central Texas, with 76 reported tornadoes, and the second runner up had 73 from 1994. These records were from the National Weather Service, which started its detailed documentation of tornadoes in 1950.

The breakdown of the tornadoes in North Texas for December 26:
EF-4: Sunnyvale/Garland/Rowlett (damage in Rowlett was consistent with an EF3)
EF-3: Midlothian/Ovilla/Glenn Heights
EF-2: Copeville
EF-1: Farmersville, Blue Ridge
EF-0: Hubbard, Eustace, Emory, Hillsboro, Sulphur Springs, Maypearl, Ennis/Rosser
The Dallas Morning News, Claire Z. Cardona, December 30, 2015

Texas tornadoes caused $1.2 billion in insured damage -- There were 11 people killed in the tornadoes. This is their current estimate of the damage, but all of the home damages have not been thoroughly looked through yet and the damage cost is expected to increase. Currently, this is the costliest damage for the North Texas areas in recent years.
KEYE, Associated Press, December 30, 2015

Man reunites with dogs after Texas tornado -- Michael Delgado’s family was safe, but the dogs were caught in the rubble. They were able to find their beloved pets two days after the storm in the rubbage that used to be their home. They are grateful that everyone survived and just had cuts and bruises.
CBS, Staff Writer, December 30, 2015

Neighbor tried to help save baby after deadly Texas twister -- There was a total estimate of 1,450 homes destroyed. Most of the deaths were of people who were stuck in their vehicles and thrown off the overpass. One man had a very injured baby and his wife was still caught in the rubble, so he frantically went to his neighbor to help bring the baby to the hospital. Sadly the little girl did not make it and was one of the tornadoes many victims.
The Ada News, Randy Mitchell, December 30, 2015

Relentless Texas Storms Continue Creating Chaos -- Before December 26, the year 2015 was expected to have the least amounts of deaths due to tornadoes with only 10 deaths so far in the year for all of the United States. This changed with all of the storms in the end of December. The storm post Christmas took 11 lives in Texas and the line of storms took 18 other lives in other states. In Garland, Texas alone there were 8 deaths, 15 injuries and 600 buildings damaged. The search and rescue missions were difficult with little to no breaks in the storms and dangerous conditions. In addition to the damage done by tornadoes, Amarillo was experiencing white out conditions by December 27. In addition to the roads being virtually blocked, there were 10,000 people without power.
Guardian Liberty Voice, Jeanette Smith, December 31, 2015


Eight Die in Texas Severe Weather -- Over the Thanksgiving holiday, eight people were killed in Texas. Round after round of storms moved into Texas causing flooding in different parts of Texas. North Texas was hit the worst where drainage pipes and sewers were overflowing with water.
JEMS, Staff Writer, December 1, 2015

Record rain threatens North texas residents’ property -- Grand Prairie residents near Mountain Creek Lake are dealing with the result of record rain in the area over the course of 2015. The record rain and a failing retaining wall have allowed the hillside to collapse, which is part of residents’ backyards.
NBC 5 DFW, Ben Russell, December 1, 2015

6 things you should know about the wettest year on record for North Texas -- As of the end of November, Dallas/Fort Worth airport has recorded 22 inches of rain above normal. November was the the wettest ever for North Texas. The previous record was broken by over 2 inches! As of now, the state is completely drought free thanks to the record rains this fall.
KERA, Eric Aasen, December 1, 2015

San Marcos flood victims now have easier path to assistance -- Residents and business owners in San Marcos who have flood damage from flooding in October now have easier access to financial aid. FEMA officials were on hand at a newly opened registration center in San Marcos. Residents must apply first before receiving aid. Assistance grants are available for temporary housing and home repairs.
KEYE, Sarah Navoy, December 2, 2015

Central Texas flood victims getting relief from FEMA -- FEMA has approved more than $5.6 million in grants to assist flood victims in central Texas. More than 700 victims have been registered across 15 counties. In the hardest hit areas, FEMA workers have been walking door-to-door to talk with some of the residents. Victims believe the grant money will be enough to get them close to where they were before they flooding.
KEYE, Sarah Navoy, December 4, 2015

Travis County residents seek answers in flood recovery -- Travis County hosted a meeting this past weekend to help answer questions about flood recovery. FEMA was also there to help flood victims register for recovery grants. Some residents who lost everything are looking forward to receiving a helping hand and getting back to their normal lives.
KEYE, Adam Hammons, December 5, 2015

A wet winter forecast raises concern about already high DFW lake levels -- Gainesville, in North Texas, has has almost 80 inches of rainfall this year, which is an all time record for North Texas. Many areas of North Texas have seen near record rainfall totals and it can be seen in lake levels. Every major lake is full or just below full. With a wet winter forecasted, some wonder if this is just the start of it all.
Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, December 5, 2015

Cold/Winter Weather

DPS warns Texans to prepare for winter weather -- As the temperate temperatures of fall grow colder and colder, the Texas Department of Public Safety is warning Texans to be prepared. Some tips include keeping up to date on winter weather watches and maintaining your vehicle in case of emergencies on the road. Some tips for houses include insulating outside pipes and making sure furnaces and fireplaces are cleaned and well ventilated.
Patch, Brendan Krisel, December 2, 2015

Christmas snow for Houston? A long shot, but a historic snow like this isn’t out of the question -- The current El Niño just might bring the proper conditions for snow in Houston this Christmas, although it is too early to tell for sure. This is also true for the rest of the season as a whole according to Gerry Bell, a climate scientist with the National Weather Service.
Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, December 7, 2015

Zack’s Weather Facts: Will Central Texas experience a White Christmas? -- Meteorologist Zach Shields noted it is very difficult to get snow on Christmas for Central Texas. Often the most snowfall occurs over January and February. This year is not expected to be an exception to the rule. Currently the Climate Prediction Center is showing warmer than average temperatures for Texas and the precipitation expected will likely not be snow.
Fox7, Scott Fisher, December 6, 2015

Getting Ready for the Snow -- El Paso is expecting up to 5 inches of snow this weekend. The storm should come through by 6-9 p.m. on Saturday the 26th. Northeast and East El Paso are expected to experience the worst weather. The citizens of El Paso are not even accustomed to driving in the rain, so they have been advised to stay indoors if possible and to avoid the elevated highways. This storm should not effect the Sun Bowl game.
KFOX, Selena Madrigal, December 24, 2015

Heavy rain and snow to strike Texas Christmas weekend -- For this weekend, forecasters expect heavy rain in southeast Texas and snow in northwest Texas. Also, the eastern portion of the state could experience tornadoes, damaging straight line winds
Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, December 24, 2015

Texas reeling as ‘Crippling’ Blizzard to follow deadly tornadoes -- The Panhandle area of Texas was expected to receive 10-13 inches of snow and 10 foot snow drifts along with possible white out conditions from the blizzard. Just east of the blizzard conditions there was expected to be some ice on the roads, which would also pose dangers to people. Power outages were also expected to happen during the storm.
NBC, Alex Johnson, December 27, 2015

Blizzard Leaves Massive Snow Drifts, Road Closures -- About 16 inches of snow was measured in Midland, Texas, along with some snow drifts of about 6 feet. There were many roads closed due to the snow. Lubbock reported 10.3 inches of snow, which was the most reported since the January storm in 1983. The roads closed included Interstates 10, 20 and 40 along with large numbers of state and U.S. highways. Ice and snow approaching the DFW area were expected to pose challenges for people traveling home after the holidays. There were white out conditions in El Paso for the Sun Bowl.
BreitBart Texas, Staff Writer, December 27, 2015

Texas Panhandle Faces 15 Inches of Snow, ‘Historic’ Blizzard -- About 15 inches of snow were expected for the Lubbock and Amarillo area, with the possibility of reaching temperatures 10 degrees below freezing. This was also expected to cause snow drifts of up to 10 feet.
NBC, Staff Writer, December 28, 2015

Other Climate Impacts

Our Last and Best Chance to Protect the World (and Texas) From Dangerous Climate Change -- In Paris, the United Nations Climate Change Conference is being held to bind a global agreement to cut emissions. If an agreement cannot be made, emissions will directly affect the weather globally and locally. For Texas, this could mean 80 days of the year could be above 100 degrees; about 60 more than Texas sees now. The time to act is now. If an agreement to cut global emissions in the next 25 years, then it very well may be too late to stop climate change.
UTNews, Rong Fu, December 4, 2015


‘Horrific’ Construction Revealed in Texas Post-Christmas Tornado Damage Survey -- One engineer inspecting the damage from the tornadoes could tell that the homes were poorly built, and that other homes in the areas around it would be in great danger for storms in the future. In addition to the homes, one elementary school also was not built properly, and one side of the school just collapsed. Thankfully there were no children in the school at the time of the tornado, because the whole interior of the school was left open to feeling the full force of the tornado’s winds. Sadly, in each city there were problems with the construction of the house, and if they had been made better the damage to the homes would have been less and the people inside would have been safer.
Weather Underground, Sean Breslin, December 31, 2015

Roads / Traffic / Travel

Potholes emerge on North Texas roads as rainfall drains, evaporates -- Record rainfall has wrecked havoc on North Texas roads. Calls have been pouring in to city officials of potholes on roads and highways. Permanent repairs can be difficult however, especially when the rain continues to fall and drivers do not want roads to be shut down for weeks to repair.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Gordon Dickson, December 2, 2015

State Highway 24 remains closed due to flooding -- Texas State Highway 24 between Cooper and Commerce remains closed due to flood waters. In May of this year the highway was closed for 8 days while the water receded. This time, water is 4 feet higher so officials are expecting the road to be closed for a longer period of time.
KETR, Cindy Roller, December 3, 2015

Record breaking rainfall -- Cooke County in North Texas has set a new record for rainfall this year. The national Weather Service reports Gainesville has received almost 80 inches of rainfall so far this year. This is the most rainfall ever in North Texas from Waco to the Red River. The amount of water that has fallen will be clearly seen in the number of road damages.
KXII, Jeremy Thomas, December 8, 2015

Flight woes spread nationwide on busy post-Christmas Sunday travel day -- The mix of thunderstorms and wintery weather in the Texas regions caused issues for flights through the region. Because of this, 620 flights were canceled and 625 more were delayed in the DFW International airport. There were also other flight delays in smaller airports. The reporter estimated about half of the flights in and out of Texas were canceled.
USA Today, Ben Mutzabaugh, December 27, 2015


Boardwalk under construction in the Trinity River National WIldlife Refuge -- The new boardwalk currently under construction in Liberty is now set to open in the spring. Heavy rains throughout the year have delayed the completion date over and over again. The completed boardwalk will allow nature-goers to venture further into the bayou, but for now, the entire trail is flooded.
The Houston Observer, Vanesa Brashier, December 6, 2015

Warm Weather a factor in slow South Texas hunting season -- The hunters in South Texas are facing difficulty while hunting due to the warmer weather. This unseasonably warm weather not only affects the hunters, but it is not good for the deer, who rely on this cold temperature to kill off parasites, deer keds, ticks and other nuisances. Matt Reidy, wildlife biologist, says the deer can be more nocturnal with warmer temperatures, but the rainfall amount also plays a role. The rain has provided deer with more natural food, and the have remained further away from the feeders hunters have put out because of it.
KSAT12, Adrian Garcia, December 18, 2015

At crunch time for U.S. Drillers warm weather threatens meltdown -- Frackers rely on colder weather for their operations, and the warmer weather present is not present for them. The current growth of the companies are relying on the weather. Normally, more of the United States would be covered with snow at this time, but the unseasonably warm temperatures lowered people’s demand for energy to warm their homes.
Fortune, Joshua Schneyer and Scott DiSavino, December 20, 2015

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