Skip Nav
February was cold and dry for the most part, with only minor reprieves from either condition for small periods at a time. Occasional snow and ice were seen, but the majority of the state was far below normal this month, capping off one of the driest January-February periods on record. The brief warm temperatures helped drought conditions spread rapidly after the last 2 months’ dry conditions, causing a slew of new fire risks across central Texas. Water, as usual, remains a problem, holding at 64%, a record low for this time of year. The city of Wichita Falls is nearing the 25% water supply levels that will require the initiation of stage 5 water restrictions preventing any nonessential water usage. A cloud seeding proposal set out last month was approved, allotting $300,000 of the city’s budget to the project. Several other cities, including San Antonio, El Paso, and Leander are looking at possible upgrades to their water restrictions as well. 163 counties across the state now qualify for up to $2 million in federal disaster loans due to continuing short and long term drought conditions.

The frigid temperatures that have been so common this winter continued though February. An ice storm affected much of the state on the 6 th with sleet, snow and ice causing problems from Dallas to the northern suburbs of Houston. Hundreds of wrecks were caused by ice buildup on roadways. This winter has not been cheap for TxDOT either. In San Antonio alone TxDOT has spent over $88,000 on de-icing materials to put on roadways. In Austin the local homeless shelters have been full, and emergency shelters have been open twice as much as last winter. While no cost estimates have been announced, Dallas is looking into restructuring their winter weather response protocols after December’s ice storm shut down the city for several days.
College of Arts & Sciences

Be Here. Be ArtSci.