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Burn Bans/Fire


Winter wildfire threat looms in Northeast Texas, across Plains, mid-South--
Dry and warmer than normal weather have provided the ideal conditions for winter wildfires in northeast and south Texas and the Great Plains. The La Nina phenomenon is also assisting in these continuing of these conditions. The phenomenon leads to a drier than normal winter for the southern US including Texas. Currently, parts of northeast Texas are designated as severe drought. Officials fear that the threat of a wildfire outbreak is imminent in any of the regions if the dry conditions continue to increase.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, December 3, 2017

More than one-third of Texas counties are under burn ban in fear of wildfires--
Many Texans will have to forego fireworks this New Year’s due to the dry conditions. Ninety-seven of Texas’ 254 counties have an outdoor burn ban, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The burn bans restrict or prohibit outdoor fires, which includes fireworks, when drought conditions are present. Many officials are on edge during the drought as they remember the five Texans that died after a blaze scorched 100,000 acres in the panhandle last March.
Houston Chronicle, Fernando Ramirez, December 14, 2017

Fire threat increasing across North Texas Saturday--
Although weak winds will keep the fire threat at bay, an approaching low pressure system will increase wind speeds Saturday and the fire danger along with it. The National Weather Service says locations north of I-20 will see relative humidities near or below 30 percent, which is the threshold for an elevated fire threat. Rain chances will increase across the region Saturday night, but the chances will end on Sunday. Dallas and Fort Worth are in moderate drought, but areas north are in severe drought.
KXAS, Staff Writer, December 15, 2017


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification



Southeast Texas Turns to Drought Just Months After Hurricane Harvey Dropped more than 60 inches--
Three months have passed since Hurricane Harvey extensively damaged southeast Texas. Heavy and destructive rains were the main cause of the destruction, though since this storm, the region has seen scarce rainfall. Some parts of eastern Texas have seen little rainfall since September. At least 90 days since the storm, rainfall has been below normal while average monthly temperatures have been 5 degrees above normal. These conditions have allowed for some regions to be designated moderate drought.
The Weather Channel, Jonathan Belles, December 2, 2017

State climatologist: Dry conditions could worsen for much of Texas--
October and November were two of the driest Octobers and Novembers on record in Texas, and much of the state will continue to face a dry spell through winter. According to the State Climatologist, conditions were excessively dry throughout fall months that are typically wet, and the dry conditions are expected to continue through the next several weeks. Fire danger, underdeveloped pastures, and low water levels for livestock are concerns due to the dry weather. No single Texas county has received at least four inches of rain anywhere within its borders since the beginning of October.
Agrilife Today, Adam Russell, December 10, 2017

Dry conditions, drought persist across Texas--
According to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), drought and abnormally dry conditions continued to spread across Texas last week, despite some minor relief from rain and snow. The area of severe drought in the state grew by nearly five percent, which now covers 11 percent of Texas. Although there was light to moderate rain and snowfall in South and Central Texas, the impact from precipitation was minimal. So far, December has continued the trend of dry weather with just over a quarter of an inch of rain recorded at north Texas Regional Airport.
Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, December 11, 2017

County-wide burn ban takes effect--
A county-wide burn ban went into effect Tuesday afternoon because of dry winter conditions and a high fuel load, according to the Parker COunty Judge’s Office. Dry conditions and high winds have put the county in an elevated risk of wildfires. For the past few weeks, firefighters have battled grass fires across the county. The ban will stay in effect until the afternoon of December 19th and can be extended if conditions do not improve.
Weatherford Democrat, Maggie Fraser, December 12, 2017

PinPoint weather blog: Short term relief from dry spell--
Severe and extreme drought has taken over parts of North and East Texas. Since Harvey, much of East Texas has not received enough rain, which has caused elevated fire danger and low soil moisture. This weekend is our next chance for showers and thunderstorms, but rainfall totals could vary widely, from less than a quarter-inch to as much as an inch. Conditions will dry up by Sunday and temperatures will be in the upper 60s.
KBTX, Max Crawford, December 14, 2017


Texas Cotton Crop Looks Exceptional--
Agronomists are predicting an exceptional yield of the cotton crop this season. Maturity of cotton growth in the High Plains has been impacted by cooler weather during the latter parts of September and early October. This region is expected to yield more than 5 million bales. The sale price for cotton is currently sitting at 73 cent which is a good signal of world demand. The U.S. cotton industry is even more optimistic this season after India’s cotton crop was recently downsized while the demand has grown.
Cotton Grower, Seshadri Ramkumar, December 1, 2017

Windmill Country: Weather wreaked havoc on Texas agriculture in 2017--
Weather was one of the main culprits in allowing for a successful agricultural season in 2017. Crops in Texas experienced a year of exceptional drought and rainfall, hail, wildfires, and flooding. A horticulturist at Fredericksburg reports that Central Texas had its warmest winter in 22 growing seasons, leading to a weak yield in peaches. Some crops did fare well from these wavering weather conditions such as cotton, which is projected to see an above average yield.
San Angelo Standard Times, Jerry Lackey, December 23, 2017 

Significant Weather


Rain returns, along with significant winter blast--
The Brazos Valley will see its first chances of rainfall in a while this upcoming week as a weak disturbance moves through the region. This disturbance is expected to bring just a quarter to a half inch of rain to the area. Forecasters are monitoring precipitation and freezing chances throughout the weak as a strong cold front will make its way into the area. Some predictions suggest a chance of wintery weather mix during the week.
KBTX, Carly Cassady, December 2, 2017

Heavy rain continues along the coast, wile rain tapers off inland--
Pockets of rain are continuing on the Texas Gulf Coast through the Sunday evening hours. Forecasters are warning that the biggest threats from these downpours are street and stream flooding. Residents should be pay attention to road conditions and make sure to not drive through water-covered roads. A flood advisory has been put into place for Texas City and La Marque areas in Galveston County until 10:15 p.m. This region has seen the heaviest and longest lingering rainfall of the coastal region. Inland rain remains scattered and lighter than the coast and is not expected to see the heavy amounts observed along the coast.
KPRC2, Eric Braate, December 3, 2017

5 things to know about the snow in Wednesday’s Central Texas forecast--
Although snow is possible Wednesday in Central Texas according to the National Weather Service, there are a few things to keep in mind. Since temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 30s in Austin, it won’t be cold enough for the snow to accumulate. Up to an inch of rain is possible throughout the day Wednesday, so allow extra travel time to account for hazardous wintry conditions. The weekend should be dry and temperatures in Austin will reach the 60s by Saturday.
Austin American-Statesman, Roberto Villalpando, December 6, 2017

Snowflakes in North Texas? There’s a chance--
The National Weather Service says there is a slight chance to see sleet or snow through Wednesday evening in Dallas due to an overnight disturbance and freezing temperatures above the surface. However, surface temperatures will be too warm for the snow to stick to the ground. If the forecast plays out, it will be the earliest sleet/snow event for Dallas-Fort Worth since November 13, 2014. Waco also has a slight chance for sleet/snow, which will be the earliest winter event in that area since November 23, 2013.
WFAA, Staff Writer, December 6, 2017

Could SETX get snow this weekend?--
There is a five to 10 percent chance of snow for the I-10 corridor between Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service. There were reports of light sleet in parts of East Texas today, and the sleet is expected to continue through Thursday. Temperatures will be at or below freezing overnight Thursday into early Friday, and roads will be monitored for slick spots. Rain up to three-quarters of an inch is possible by the end of the evening, and warmer and drier weather is expected by Sunday in Southeast Texas.
Beaumont Enterprise, Krista Chandler, December 6, 2017

Forecast includes a chance of snow--
There is a possibility of as much as an inch of snow Thursday night through Friday morning in Victoria. The area is under a winter weather advisory from 10 pm Thursday to 6 am Friday. Thursday has a 100 percent chance of rain with high temperatures in the low 40s an and low temperatures in the low 30s. Friday has a 20 percent chance of rain in the morning with a high in the low 50s.
Victoria Advocate, Kathryn Cargo, December 7, 2017

Snow might hit Houston, weather experts say--
The National Weather Service for the Houston and Galveston area predicts light rain mixed with sleet in East Texas from Wednesday night to Friday morning. Temperatures are expected to fall into the 30s by midnight with a chance of rain turning into sleet and snow overnight. Near or below freezing temperatures are expected to continue into Friday morning along with the rain and the chance for sleet.
Houston Chronicle, William Axford, December 7, 2017

Photos: South Texas gets blanketed in rare snowfall--
Freezing temperatures behind a cold front mixed with moisture from the Gulf caused a rare snowfall in parts of South Texas. According to the National Weather Service, up to two and a half inches of snow was measured in the San Antonio area. The most recent comparable snowfall in San Antonio was in January 1987, which saw a snow accumulation of 1.3 inches. However, the record snowfall in San Antonio was in January 1985, when 13.2 inches fell.
The Dallas Morning News, Staff Writer, December 8, 2017

Houston wakes up to a beautiful snowfall, icy roads--
An overnight dusting of snow left many yards and streets in the Houston area slick. The first reports of light snow came late Thursday in Katy, Spring, and the Woodlands. The winter weather did not stay long and the worst areas for ice reported by Houston TranStar were on bridges and entrance ramps of highways such as I-10, US-290, and the Fred Hartman Bridge.
Houston Chronicle, William Axford, Brooke A Lewis, and John Boyd, December 8, 2017

Two people die in cold on South Texas ranches--
Two people died Thursday on a ranch due to the freezing temperatures. A family trying to enter the US got lost on a ranch and called 911 early Thursday. By the time police arrived, one of the three family members had already died from the cold. A second man died Thursday on a ranch near Kingsville from similar circumstances.
San Antonio Express-News, Jason Buch, December 8, 2017

Texas State Aquarium takes in 101 cold-stunned turtles after snowfall--
101 green sea turtles were brought to the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center during the snowy weekend due to low temperatures, which led to the cold-stunning of turtles, a hypothermic reaction that causes immobilization. Staff and volunteers from the Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery led rescue efforts.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Alexandria Rodriguez, December 11, 2017

Rain possible Saturday evening--
The best opportunity for rain will be Saturday evening into Saturday night east of Dallas. High temperatures over the weekend will be in the 60s, and the weather will dry up starting Sunday and lasting until Thursday. A strong cold front will arrive Friday morning, which will cause high temperatures in the 40s and a chance for some wintry precipitation over the weekend.
KXAS, Staff Writer, December 16, 2017

Could North Texas see a white Christmas miracle? Yes, but...--
Although chances of a white Christmas in North Texas are less than 10 percent on a given year, conditions are looking good for some wintry precipitation. The jet stream is likely to move down to North Texas, keeping the area under an active storm track. If enough cold air, moisture, and instability is present, North Texas could see a chance for wintry weather.
WFAA, Jesse Hawila, December 16, 2017

Amarillo could see snow for Christmas--
The Panhandle will will stay warm through the rest of the week. A cold front will move through over the weekend, and Friday through Sunday will high temperatures in the upper 30s. Slight chances for rain in the northern Panhandle exist beginning Christmas Eve. Amarillo has a chance for snow Christmas Day, but better chances will be better in areas north of town such as Borger and Dalhart.
Amarillo Globe-News, Lisa Carr, December 17, 2017

Christmas snow flurries possible in Central Texas--
A second round of snow in Central Texas may be possible between Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. Computer models consistently indicate freezing temperatures with a chance of precipitation in the region, but the temperature forecast is more confident than the precipitation. As the weekend gets closer, the chance of snow in the forecast will be better determined.
KXAN, David Yeomans, December 18, 2017

Heavy, soaking rain provides much needed drought relief to North Texas--
Steady rainfall brought much needed drought relief to North Texas on Tuesday and even set a record for the day at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a rain total of 2.95 inches. It was the first time DFW recorded more than an inch of rain since October 22, and the most rain in a single day at DFW International since June 24. Patchy, dense fog may develop in the area on Wednesday morning after the rain clears out. Wednesday and Thursday will be drier, and a cold front will arrive Friday.
KXAS, Grant Johnson, December 19, 2017

Tuesday’s rainfall was a new record for DFW, and a big freeze is coming--
Tuesday morning’s rain in Fort Worth provided drivers with a difficult commute. Numerous accidents were reported across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but no major flooding occurred. A second chance of rain arrives Friday after another cold front moves in, and temperatures will drop below freezing late Saturday through early next week.
Fort Worth Star Telegram, Lee Williams, December 19, 2017

No white Christmas for Tyler, but flash flood watch through Saturday; severe weather possible in areas south of Tyler--
According to the National Weather Service, it has been five years since the city of Tyler, Texas has seen snowfall on Christmas Day. It is highly unlikely that snow will fall this year, though the strong cold front that will move through east Texas in the next couple of days will drop temperatures and bring rain showers and some thunderstorms. Flash flooding may also be possible from these storms as 1-3 inches is expected. Christmas morning will see temperatures in the upper 20s and warming up by Tuesday.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, LouAnna Campbell, December 21, 2017

Rain fails to dampen joyous Central Texas homecoming--
Family, friends, and co-workers gathered on December 22 despite untimely rain to welcome home a heroic paramedic. Rory Barros is a Waco paramedic who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was pinned by his own ambulance after a car struck him while responding to an accident scene. Barros saved the Camille Gonzales by pushing her out of the way moments before a veering drunk driver made impact. Barross remains eager to return to work.
KWTX, John Carroll, December 22, 2017

Forecast: Cold front Sunday afternoon to bring winter chill--
Forecasters in the south central Texas region aren’t keeping their hopes up for a white Christmas this year. A cold front will sweep through the region on Christmas Eve. Temperatures before the front will be near 59 degrees followed by a notable cooling and gust of the winds. Christmas Day will see sunny and breezy conditions with a slight chance of rain.
Austin American-Statesman, Taylor Goldenstein, December 24, 2017

Cold temps, but no snow expected Christmas Eve into Monday--
West Texas will feel somewhat polar without the snow on Christmas Eve. Brisk winds and arctic air made temperatures feel as if they were in the lower teens and single digits. After the passage of a dry and windy front on Sunday, high temperatures will only reach the lower 40s by the afternoon. Some weather models are predicting chances of precipitation in the area, but as they remain low, meteorologists are keeping them out of the forecast.  
KCBD, Kelly Plasker, December 24, 2017

Freezing drizzle for parts of North Texas--
A dry Christmas day has evolved into a moist and cloudy Tuesday. Some areas west of Fort Worth may see light freezing drizzle in the night hours. The drizzle will fall mostly on trees and street signs, while roads are not expected to be affected in North Texas. West Texas roads such as in Lubbock and Abilene may want to be careful when driving as these roads may ice.
Dallas Morning News, Staff Writer, December 26, 2017

Warm Weather

One Last Warm Weekend--
South central Texas residents can expect pleasant temperatures this weekend as the pattern of warmer than average temperatures continues for the region. Morning temperatures on Saturday will be in the low 50s, but by the afternoon southerly winds and a clear sky with sunshine will allow temperatures to climb into the upper 70s and lower 80s. These warm temperatures are nearly 15 degrees above average for this part of December. Monday will continue this trend though a strong Arctic cold front will make its way through the area on Tuesday.
Spectrum News, Dan Robertson, December 1, 2017

December begins with sunshine, high near 75; rain chances on Sunday--
The transition from unseasonably warm to normally cool in the next few days. Forecasters at the National Weather Service are predicting a high near 77 on Friday, 10 degrees warmer than normal. The consistent warm and dry weather will break beginning Tuesday. The first chances of rain in a while will come into the forecast by on Sunday and after a cold front passes on Tuesday.
Austin-Statesman, Nolan Hicks, December 1, 2017

Austin temps match record high of 84 Monday ahead of cold front--
84 degrees was the measured high temperature at Camp Mabry in Austin on December 4 which matched the record for highest temperature on that date. According to the National Weather Service, this record temperature is nearly 20 degrees warmer than the average for this day, 65 degrees. The Austin area is expected to be relieved of these abnormally warm temperatures by the 5th, when a cold front passes through overnight. Temperatures will dip into the lower 40s by 9 p.m. preceding a high in the 50s for Tuesday.
Austin-Statesman, Nolan Hicks and Katie Hall, December 4, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Back to near average highs with continued sunshine for the region--
Temperatures in Abilene this morning are in the mid 30s to low 40s and skies are sunny. Tuesday afternoon will see high temperatures near 60 and low temperatures in the low to mid 30s. Wednesday’s temperatures will rise to the upper 60s with sunny skies until another cold front moves through on Thursday. Thursday night will see lows in the low to mid 30s.
KTXS, Melissa Valdez, December 12, 2017

Forecast: Sunshine Wednesday with temperatures reaching near 68--
This afternoon in Austin is expected to be gorgeous with temperatures near 70, about five degrees warmer than normal this time of year. A cold front will move through Thursday afternoon, causing high temperatures on Friday to stay in the upper 50s. Saturday is the next chance of rain in Austin as a low pressure system will quickly blow through the area.
Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks, December 13, 2017

Forecast: Fog followed by sunshine, cool temps in Austin area Sunday--
Austin will see dense fog Sunday morning, but it will clear out by the evening with only slight chances of rain. Travis County is under a hazardous weather alert Sunday morning since the fog could reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile, making driving dangerous. High temperatures will be in the mid 60s, and nighttime temperatures will drop near 50. On Saturday, rain in Austin forced the closure of Austin’s Trail of Lights.
Austin American-Statesman, Mary Huber, December 17, 2017

Warmer winters have Texas bees buzzing, and that’s not good--
The loss of bees in the U.S. is causing significant alarm for numerous industries. Winters are usually when honey bees take time off. Abnormally warm temperatures have allowed for the bees to continue buzzing, though also die faster. Crops are becoming pollinated less frequently reports a beekeeper in Collin County, and this will begin to be noticed if and when food is scarce. Winter temperatures are becoming warmer early in the season and waking up bees from their season of sleep. The use of insecticides, disruptive pests, and limiting sources of nectar also play major roles in the the reproduction rate of bees.
La Crosse Tribune, Jackie Wang, December 23, 2017

Cool Weather

Texas winter creeping in--
The passage of a cold front to the central Texas in the coming days will counteract the abnormal warm temperatures that have been experienced for most of the month of November. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service are forecasting highs in the upper 70s for Monday with southerly winds. On Tuesday, however, a cold front will drop lows into the lower 50s and bring wind gusts in excess of 30 miles per hour. Wednesday will see temperatures reach the high 60s with a chilly morning low in the 30s.
Killeen Daily Herald, Josh Sullivan, December 2, 2017

Temperatures expected to drop more than 30 degrees by Tuesday--
Warm and humid conditions in south central Texas will continue throughout the day on Monday but are expected cool substantially by the evening hours. Winds will shift from warm, moist, and southerly to cold and northerly with speeds in excess of 30 mph. This cold front passage will provide a near 30 degree temperature difference for highs between Monday and Tuesday. Slight chances of rain may also be expected as the front moves through.
KSAT12, Sarah Spivey, December 4, 2017

Bundle up, December temps are here!--
A cold front moved into North Texas early Monday morning, ending the streak of unseasonably warm weather for the region. A line of showers and isolated storms accompanied the front. Tuesday will see a few light showers into the early afternoon, and high temperatures will remain in the mid 50s. The rest of the week and the weekend should be mostly sunny and dry.
WFAA, Greg Fields, December 5, 2017

Weather update: More snow, freezing temperatures possible through Friday morning--
Freezing temperatures and more snow are possible overnight Thursday into Friday across Central Texas, according to the National Weather Service. Icy roads are possible through Friday morning, and authorities urge cautious driving as ice may not be visible on roads. Austin police responded to several crashes Thursday night due to the hazardous driving conditions and asked drivers to remain off roads if possible.
Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks Roberto Villalpando, and Katie Hall, December 7, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Wonderful weekend weather continues--
Temperatures in the Big Country will continue to warm into the beginning of the week. Saturday and Sunday will see near freezing temperatures in the morning, but will warm up to the upper 60s by the afternoon. The sunny and dry conditions may fuel grass and brush fires over the weekend. A front will blow in on Tuesday and cause high temperatures to drop into the upper 50s by the afternoon. Low temperatures will be in the upper 20s to low 30s across the Big Country.
KTXS, Megan Murat, December 9, 2017

Could it really happen again--
Thursday’s snowstorm is the 36th time snow has been recorded in Houston since the blizzard of 1895. According to the Weather Research Center, it has been eight years since the last Houston snowfall event in 2009, which is the third longest snow drought on record. Models show abnormally low temperatures near Christmas time, but we will not have a white Christmas unless there is enough moisture.
KHOU, Blake Mathews, December 10, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Warming into the week--
Temperatures this weekend were slightly above average in Abilene. Some areas are still expected to dip into freezing temperatures overnight. Monday and Tuesday will see temperatures warming into the upper 50s and 60s with low temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s. Another cold front will move through the Big Country on Thursday and will bring temperatures down to the low 60s.
KTXS, Megan Murat, December 10, 2017

A white Christmas in San Angelo? Forecasters laugh--
San Angelo is expected to see partly cloudy skies with highs in the mid to upper 50s and lows in the low 30s for Christmas weekend. Although there is a possibility of snow, the chances remain low, according to the National Weather Service. The last time San Angelo saw a white Christmas was in 1974, where only a tenth of an inch of snow dusted the ground. In 1939, San Angelo saw an inch and a half, and in 1926, two inches of snow fell.
San Angelo Standard-Times, John Tufts, December 11, 2017

Forecast: Overnight cold front means Tuesday temps will top out in low 60s--
An overnight cold front will keep high temperatures in Austin in the low to mid 60s, more than 10 degrees below Monday’s temperatures. Tuesday and Wednesday will see low temperatures in the upper 30s. High temperatures are expected to remain in the 60s through Saturday, and low temperatures are forecasted to rise into the low 40s through the work week. The weekend will see slightly warmer temperatures.
Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks, December 12, 2017

KTXS forecast: Temperatures to drop Thursday--
Temperatures in Abilene warmed back to the low 70s, but an overnight cold front will bring high temperatures over the next few days into the upper 50s. Low temperatures will drop into the upper 20s and low 30s Thursday and Friday morning. Clear skies will dominate through the rest of the work week, but Saturday will see more cloud cover and the possibility for rain in the evening. Rain chances will stick around through Sunday morning, and skies will begin to clear Monday.
KTXS, Megan Murat, December 13, 2017

Colder for Christmas? Strong winter pattern could be developing--
Cold air and moisture are expected for next week in Texas. However, the timing of the events for Christmas weekend are still uncertain. While one model brings cold and moist air into the central and southern plains next weekend, another model forecasts cold air the week following Christmas, which may mean a warm Christmas in Southeast Texas with the chance of rain and thunderstorms.
KTRK, Collin Myers, December 14, 2017

Rain returns to North Texas Saturday--
Some areas in North Texas may see showers and thunderstorms this weekend. Saturday afternoon will be mostly dry, but the best opportunity for rain will be overnight east of Dallas. Although the rain will not erase drought, it will help ease some of the dry conditions in the area as some places could see rain totals higher than half an inch. The rainy weather will move out early Sunday morning.
KXAS, Rick Mitchell and Keisha Burns, December 15, 2017

Frightful weather for Christmas? Remains to be seen--
There is a possibility for cold weather and widespread precipitation beginning next Friday and lasting through Christmas Day. This means we will not see a repeat of last year’s 80 degree Christmas Day. Areas north of Houston, such as Austin or Dallas could see freezing rain and an ice/snow mix, which would cause traffic and travel problems across the region. However, it is still too far out to be certain of the winter weather affecting the holiday weekend.
KHOU, Blake Mathews, December 16, 2017

Wintry mixed storm possible next Saturday--
San Antonio has a 40 percent chance for a wintry mix of precipitation on Saturday, December 23. Temperatures will be in the mid 30s to mid 40s on Saturday, and a mix a freezing rain, sleet, or snow is possible. San Antonio last saw snow on the evening of December 7.
KENS, Staff Writer, December 18, 2017

Cold for Christmas? Yes! Wintry weather? Probably not--
Weather models have been hinting at the chance for wintry weather in North Texas on Christmas over the past few days. However, now that we are getting closer to Christmas, those models have been leaning toward the dry side for the holiday weekend. Now that new data has come in, the chance for wintry weather looks to be lower than previously thought. On the other hand, the forecast is still certain of freezing temperatures over the next weekend.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts, December 18, 2017

Near-freezing Christmas Eve? Santa’s seen weirder weather in Austin, data show--
Though Christmastime temperatures are usually in the low 40s to 60s, forecasters are predicting near-freezing temperatures for Christmas eve. By Christmas day it will warm up into the mid-50s which is nearly 10 degrees colder than average. Weather record keeping began in Austin in the 1890s and has shown that over 80 percent of Christmases have observed temperatures 50 degrees or higher.
Austin American-Statesman, Roberto Villalpando, December 20, 2017

State snowfall record set 88 years ago Wednesday in Central Texas--
The city of Hillsboro is remembering a record-setting snow event that occurred nearly 90 years ago. 26 inches of snow fell in the north-central Texas city on December 21, 1929 beating the previous 24-hour accumulation record of 25 inches in Follett, Texas. A climate extremes agency a part of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration verified the record back in August 2015.
KWTX, Staff Writer, December 20, 2017

Winter is here, but winter forecast for Texas doesn’t match season--
Winter weather in Texas is expected to be warm and dry for the months of January through March. The National Center for Environmental Prediction outlook is only a prediction of how the weather may be during the winter months. Weather in Texas is very fickle and residents can expect some varying weather conditions throughout the winter season.
KPRC, Eric Braate, December 21, 2017

Holiday travel in Texas looks to be mostly trouble-free as Christmas approaches--
No disruptive weather conditions are expected to disruptive holiday travelling in Texas. A cold front will move across the state during the latter part of week dropping temperatures and bringing some rain and storms to the eastern portions of the state. The cold air brought by the front will be dry, thus limiting the chances for Christmas snow.
KPRC, Eric Braate, December 21, 2017

Will Houston see snow for Christmas? Not this year--
December 24, 2004 was a day that many Houstonians remember when they think of the phrase “White Christmas”. That 2004 Christmas Eve snow day was the only one that occurred in the lifetime of those that experienced it. This year’s Christmas forecast for Houston is expected to have a low around 45 with a high of 55, sunny skies, and no chance of rain.
Houston Chronicle, Andrew Dansby, December 22, 2017

Clear skies due on Christmas, NWS says--
National Weather Service meteorologists are forecasting cloudy skies as Santa makes his way through Central Texas on Christmas Eve. Before he makes his way through the area, daytime temperatures will be in the high 50s and high winds near 30 mph. Skies will be clear and sunny on Christmas Day with highs again in the 50s and lighter winds at 10 mph. Low rain chances are forecasted for the area beginning Tuesday.
Killeen Daily Herald, December 23, 2017

Christmas Forecast: Bundle up for an unseasonably cold Austin holiday--
Although a White Christmas is not expected for the south-central Texas region this year, very chilly abnormal temperatures will be felt. It is expected that Christmas temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than normal with partly sunny skies. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport observed 34 degrees the morning of Christmas with highs expected to creep into the high 40s and low 50s. This is a stark contrast from the mid-80s experienced last year.
Austin Statesman, Mary Huber, December 25, 2017

Cold front brings winter to most of Texas--
A strong cold front has brought frigid Arctic temperatures to nearly all of Texas. Freeze advisories and watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for numerous regions throughout Rio Grande Valley extending until Tuesday morning. To combat possible traffic accidents, the Texas Department of Transportation has pre-treated nearly 10,000 miles of Texas roads with a brine solution which will hinder ice from sticking.
KRIS6, Staff Writer, December 31, 2017

Severe Weather

A first alert weather day on tap for Tuesday--
An upper level storm system moving into Texas on Tuesday will bring a high chance of widespread showers and thunderstorms across parts of the state. Although there is a low risk for severe weather, there may still be a couple strong storms in the Piney Woods area Tuesday afternoon and evening. Damaging winds are the main threat with this storm system, but heavy rain between one to two inches is possible in localized areas.
KTRE, Brad Hlozek, December 18, 2017

National Weather Service upgrades Rusk tornado to EF-2--
Severe thunderstorms in east Texas led to the development of a tornado that passed through Cherokee county. The tornado was first designated as an EF-1 on December 19, but as of the afternoon on December 20, the National Weather Service has increased the rating to EF-2 after further review of the damage. Some of the damage from the storm was drowned trees and concrete power lines, along with structural damage. The damage survey reports that the tornado had peak winds of 115 mph and traveled nearly 3 miles.
KLTV, Staff Writer, December 20, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Calming winds and clearing skies--
Strong northerly winds will continue through the night in Abilene and West Texas. Low temperatures will be in the lower 20s making perfect conditions for bundling up near the fire at home. A stalled cold front on Tuesday will keep temperatures cool and bring rain chances into the forecast. Rain will be light on Tuesday and Wednesday then clear out by Thursday.
KTXS, Megan Murat, December 24, 2017 

Other Climate Impacts


Thousands Still Waiting on Clean Water After Hurricane Harvey--
Residents in some parts of Texas are still waiting on clean water after Hurricane Harvey lead to contamination. Water was available again for some southeast Texas residents beginning in September but a boil-before-consumption effect has still been in place. Heavy rains from the storm caused an overflow of drainage across housing districts. Rose City is one of the areas that has not yet seen their boil effect lifted due to the water not meeting Texas Commision on Environmental Quality standards. According to Rose City officials, some faith-based organizations are currently provide residents with enough bottled water.
NBC5, Staff Writer, December 4, 2017

Shell, Feeding Texas join forces to provide hot meals after Harvey--
Shell and Feeding Texas are continuing to partner to help those in need after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Throughout November, Shell’s “Super Gyro” Synergy Truck visited 15 sites and provided a total of 3,700 hot meals. The food truck features several energy technologies to sustainably power the kitchen and food production.
Houston Chronicle, Staff Writer, December 5, 2017

Harvey expenses continue to rise for Texas prison system--
Officials in the Houston area have reported that damages caused by Hurricane Harvey have surpassed the million dollar mark. Damage from the storm has been more widespread than what was previously expected. One of the largest bills from the storm was a near $3 million overtime payment to prison employees who were forced to move inmates after the Brazos River overflowed, threatening safety. The Texas Department of Justice is currently working to learn from and develop methods to combat future issues from future storms.
San Antonio Express-News, Kerri Blakinger, December 25, 2017

After Harvey, Texans Are Preparing for Future With Raised Homes, Private Flood Gates--
Homemakers and owners alike are currently working towards redesigning homes to be more resistant to flood damage. Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and was hit very hard by the heavy and unprecedented rains of Hurricane Harvey. Some residents are feeling fed up with the weather conditions or can’t afford the changes to resist flood damage and are moving out completely of the Houston area.
NPR, Christopher Joyce, December 26, 2017

Outages reported across Central Texas--
Over than 1,000 residents in Central Texas lost power on New Years Eve. The electricity company, Oncor reported that among the outages was H-E-B Plus in Waco, forcing customers to be turned away. The company is also asking those that have been affected by the outages to call and report them so they can be reprimanded quickly during the freezing conditions.
KWTX, Matthew Ablon, December 31, 2017


Texas DPS offers winter weather safety tips--
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourages all Texans to make winter weather preparations as we enter the cold season. Texans should prepare their vehicles by checking items such as the battery, windshield wipers, tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and door and trunk locks. Residents should also keep emergency items such as blankets, extra clothing, a radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kid, non-perishable food and bottled water, a windshield scraper, booster cables, and a shovel in their vehicles.
KTAB, Staff Writer, December 5, 2017

Weather forecast leading into Christmas hints at travel trouble for parts of Texas--
A strong cold front will move through Texas on Friday. North Texas, the Panhandle, and West Texas may see a chance for wintry precipitations such as rain, sleet, snow, and ice that could make holiday travel dangerous. Southeast Texas is forecasted to see some light rain and cold temperatures. Models are still inconsistent on the timing and placement of the wintry weather.
KPRC, Eric Braate, December 15, 2017

Great Travel Weather for Christmas, Rain Returns Tomorrow--
Christmas brought gifts and very cool temperatures for most of Central Texas this year. Some areas saw temperatures dip into the low 20s and 30s during Christmas Eve and morning. Throughout the day, temperatures will warm into the high 40s and low 50s, dry conditions, and partly sunny skies. This weather will provide perfect traveling conditions for the day, though rain is forecast to return Tuesday through Friday.
Spectrum News, Staff Writer, December 25, 2017

Man Diess in 18-Wheeler Rollover Fiery Crash on a Rain-Soaked I-20--
Traffic on Interstate 20 near Sweetwater, Texas was halted for several hours on Tuesday afternoon after a truck tractor towing a semi-trailer crashed and caught fire. When the driver of the truck over-corrected after drifting into another lane, the truck flipped on the rainy road, struck a telephone pole, and caught fire. The driver, who was the sole occupant of the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene.
KXTS, Joe Hyde, December 26, 2017

Icy Conditions, Accidents Plague North Texas On New Years--
The MedStar healthcare organization responded to over 170 traffic accidents on New Years Eve. Officials in Grand Prairie, Texas responded to 95 accidents, with 35 of those being major. The icy road conditions made it difficult for even assistance officials to help motorist in need. A squad car in Carrollton was involved in an accident when responding to crash during the harsh weather conditions. There were also numerous accidents involving 18-wheelers throughout Sunday, slowing down and halting traffic in North Texas.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, December 31, 2017


Great Gardening Central Texas: Now is the time to plant flowers--
The Bell County Master Gardener has proclaimed that planters should now begin planting wildflowers for blooms in time for the coming spring. The best time to plant wildflowers is in the fall, with most species preferable in mid-November, including bluebonnets. Wildflowers should be planted in sunny areas with contact as close to bare ground as possible. Periods of dry and warm weather such as the current weather conditions mean that watering should be every 5-7 days with longer periods as cool and rainy conditions begin in the winter. Master Gardener will be held beginning January 10 in the Bell County area to learn the most about growing wildflowers.
Temple Daily Telegram, Pat Johnson, December 3, 2017

Don’t shoot the messenger: Cedar has arrived in Austin--
For the first time this season, the mountain cedar allergen has risen to high levels. The cedar commonly causes symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, stuffiness, and itchy eyes. Newcomers to Austin usually don’t experience symptoms at first, but are affected by it years later. The cedar typically peaks in late December or early January and can stick around as late as March. Last year on December 29, cedar pollen levels exceeded several thousand grains per cubic meter.
KVUE, Nathan Gogo, December 13, 2017

Weather Wash-out: Austin’s Trail of Lights cancelled after Friday rains--
Unfavorable weather conditions have disrupted leisurely holiday plans in Austin. Trail of Lights officials were forced to cancel the event on Friday night. The Trail grounds were oversaturated and not suitable for guests, as reported by organizers. This was not the first cancellation of the event in recent days as rain also led to disruptions on Tuesday and the previous weekend.
Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks and Roberto Villalpando, December 22, 2017


Oyster season better than anticipated after harvey rain--
After Hurricane Harvey brought more than 50 inches of rain to parts of Southeast Texas in August, locals believed the upcoming oyster season would suffer. However, harvesters in coastal Texas say the oyster season is better than anticipated despite Harvey killing some oyster populations with the heavy rain.
San Antonio Express-News, Staff Writer, December 19, 2017

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