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Burn Bans/Fire

County-wide burn bans through March 1

Oklahoma Wildfire Causes North Texas Haze-- A grass fire that started early Wednesday in southeastern Oklahoma has caused haze in North Texas due to a north wind blowing the smoke southward into Texas. There have been reports of haze and smells of smoke in places as far away as Terrell, which is more than 200 miles from the fire.
KDFW, Staff Writer, February 2, 2017

Texas Volunteer Firefighter Face Time, Staffing Challenges-- Wildfires in Tarrant County were handled by the Briar-Reno Volunteer Fire Department. Due to a lack of volunteers, the fire department had to take care of two grass fires and an animal rescue at the same time. Since dry conditions are expected to continue in the Southwest, concerns about staffing in volunteer fire departments are magnified throughout the state.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, February 3, 2017

Weather Authority UPDATE: More Fog Sunday Morning-- Fog and drizzle may be in the forecast east of the Pecos river early Sunday morning as Gulf moisture returns to the Permian Basin. As daytime heating occurs and the wind picks up, the fog and low clouds should clear out by mid morning and afternoon on Sunday. Fire Weather Watches are in effect for parts of the Permian Basin due to warm temperatures and dry air in the region Monday.
CBS7, Tom Tefertiller, February 4, 2017

‘Critical’ Wildfire Weather Expected In Texas, Oklahoma -- Red Flag Warnings have been issued for the Panhandle and parts of West Texas due to sustained winds of 30 mph, low humidity levels, and forecasted high temperatures in the 80s. The area at critical risk for fire covers more than 157,000 square miles, and includes Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, and parts of Oklahoma.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, February 6, 2017

Fire Weather Watch Issued for North Texas Tuesday-- A Fire Weather Watch was issued by the National Weather Service Tuesday afternoon for several North Texas counties due to dangerous wildfire conditions. The area affected ranges from Canton to Corsicana to Mexia and Rockdale. Relative humidity will continue to decrease Tuesday afternoon and winds will increase, allowing grass fires to easily spark.
NBC DFW, Staff Writer, February 6, 2017

Nearly 80 Acres Burn in Multiple East Texas Grass Fires-- Dry air and strong winds caused nearly 80 acres to burn in multiple grass fires across East Texas. 40 of those burned acres occurred from a grass fire in Red Springs that came up to a resident’s property but was contained before her house and livestock were harmed.
KLTV, Sophia Constantine, February 7, 2017

Officials: Several E. Texas Counties Under Lake Wind Advisory, Avoid Burning Outdoors Today-- East Texas residents are warned to not burn outdoors due to strong winds and low humidity levels. Fires across the region Tuesday damaged buildings and burned several acres of land, displacing one resident. Several East Texas counties are under a lake wind advisory.
KLTV, Belen Casillas, February 8, 2017

Fire Danger Into the Weekend for Southern High Plains-- Elevated fire danger conditions in the Southern High Plains may alleviate as a cold front passes and brings moisture into the area. The Big Bend area and the Panhandle are still under a fire watch through Saturday due to low humidity, dry vegetation, high temperatures, and strong winds.
The Brownsville Herald, Staff Writer, February 9, 2017

Fire Marshal: Avoid Outdoor Burning, Wind Advisory in Effect for Kaufman County-- A wind advisory in effect for Fort Worth, and outdoor burning is advised against due to strong winds that can quickly spread and carry the fire into forests or other dry areas. Residents are also advised to secure loose outdoor objects and to exercise caution when driving on east-west oriented roads.
InForney, Matthew Richards, February 12, 2017

Tanker base unveiled at Austin airport to fight Austin-area wildfires -- An air tanker base has finally opened in Central Texas to combat destructive wildfires in the region. Officials in Central Texas realized the need for such a base after the 2011 Bastrop wildfire uncovered some holes in the fire emergency plan. In 2011, a DC-10 cargo plane was rerouted from an active California fire to drop flame retardant over Bastrop. When the plane needed more retardant, it had to sit for two days on a runway in Austin for a resupply, which then required ground crews to build a facility to supply the fire retardant. This lack of efficiency spurred the need for a complete Tanker base.
Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, February 16, 2017

Texas A&M Forest Service: Fire Weather Conditions Expected Thursday & Friday in West Texas-- The National Weather Service has issued an alert putting parts of West Texas in the “extreme”, “critical”, and “elevated” categories for wildfire potential due to above normal seasonal temperatures, high wind speeds, and a dry line forming over the region. Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department warned if a fire occurs, it will move fast and burn anything in its path.
Everything Lubbock, Staff Writer, February 22, 2017

Update: LIT Ranch Wildfire-- According to the Texas A&M Forestry Services, the damage from a wildfire in Oldham County at Boys Ranch has affected 7,000 acres and is still only 25% contained. The Assistant Fire Chief for the Channing Fire Department says the fire was able to be contained from the gas pumps to keep from the worst damage.
KAMR, Blessing Woksman, February 23, 2017

Forecasters say parts of Texas face critical wildfire danger-- Parts of the Texas Plains face critical wildfire danger conditions through Friday. Areas of concern include Abilene, Amarillo, El Paso, FOrt Stockton, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls. The Texas A&M Forest Service officials advise against outdoor burning until conditions improve, and drivers are urged to avoid parking and idling in tall, dry grass.
KXAN, Staff Writer, February 23, 2017

Lubbock Texas Grass Fire Extinguished as Dry… Very Warm and Windy Conditions Continue-- A 2-alarm grass fire has been put out by the Lubbock fire department on Thursday. The fire broke out at George W. Dupree park after noon when strong winds pushed a tree into a power line, causing the power line to spark and the dry grass to catch fire. The fire quickly spread across the park and burned some fences, but crews were able to extinguish it before the fire reached any homes.
WSAC 3, Lee Haywood, February 24, 2017

Afternoon wildfires burn in Amarillo, across the Panhandle-- Four wildfires were reported Thursday afternoon while the entire Texas Panhandle was under a “Red Flag Warning” because of critical fire conditions. One fire began after a family attempted to grill outdoors and high winds caused the flames to spread, forcing residents in the area to evacuate their homes. Another fire started after heavy winds caused a power pole to snap and start a fire along the I-40 service road. Eleven Panhandle counties are currently under a burn ban.
Amarillo Globe-News, Ronald Balaskovitz, February 23, 2017

Crews Battling Wildfires In Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma-- Crews are continuing to work to contain a wildfire that’s burning in a rural area of the Texas Panhandle in today’s unseasonable warm and windy conditions. Multiple fires broke out over Texas on Thursday but there were no reports of substantial damage or injuries other than the large fire continuing in Oldham County, which is 50% contained and has burned nearly 11 square miles.
WIBX AM 950, Staff Writer, February 25, 2017

Urgent fire weather watch for Texas Panhandle -- The National Weather Service noted strong winds coupled with low humidity in the atmosphere, so they issued an urgent fire weather warning for the western Panhandle for Monday and Tuesday. Conditions were expected to be worse on Tuesday, and no rain chances were in the forecast until the evening.
Amarillo Globe-News, Lisa Lamb, February 26, 2017

Garage fire damages 2 homes in Atascocita, officials say-- A fire spread from a garage and affected two homes in Atascocita, Texas. Strong winds aided in spreading the fire. Fire marshals are still unclear on what started the fire.
KPRC, Brandon Walker, February 26, 2017

Drone Grounds Planes at Texas Wildfire-- Drones can cause fatal or serious accidents to firefighters attempting to put retardant on fires from aircraft. Currently, the only way to detect the drones is by seeing them or hearing about it from a report. It is important to refrain from flying your drone during wildfires so that firefighters can properly stop the fires.
Firefighter Nation, Staff Writer, February 27, 2017

Gusty winds and dryness to raise brush fire threat in Texas, Oklahoma-- Brush fire weather is likely during times when dryness and high winds are present. These conditions were currently spanning the Panhandle to Far West Texas. This lead to the recommendation to avoid outdoor burning. The chances increase as a storm system goes through the area bringing in winds gusting at 40 mph. This risk is also higher because the grasses, which normally slow fires, have not started to grow and in their place there are dry grounds.
AccuWeather, Alex Sosnowski, February 28, 2017

Extreme Fire Danger for Lubbock and Much of West Texas-- The critical fire weather conditions caused the Lubbock County Fire Departments to move to Readiness Level II - High Readiness status. This was to have more people in place to help stop any fires sooner by having more firemen stationed at different areas. They also reminded the public of some tips to keep fires from happening in the first place. One was not to discard things like cigarettes from cars, to dispose of ash properly, and to avoid burning when it is advised.
KAMC, Staff Writer, February 28, 2017


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, February 7, 2017
U.S. Drought Monitor, February 28, 2017

Little Change to Drought Across HRW Wheat Belt and Southeast-- The US Drought Monitor claims that overall, the South was dry over the past week and experienced above-normal temperatures in all but western parts of Texas. At the beginning of the month, Deep South Texas experienced moderate to severe drought. Dry conditions are expected to remain across portions of West and South Texas.
Pro Farmer, Julianne Johnston, February 2, 2017

UPDATE: Another Central Texas Lake and Drought-- Canyon Lake in Central Texas has closed 7 public boat ramps due to drought conditions, making it impossible for residents to safely get a boat in the water. Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan, Central Texas’ 2 chief reservoirs, have closed all public boat ramps because the water level in the lake has dropped too low.
The Austin American-Statesman, Asher Price, February 4, 2017

Drought Conditions Remain Steady, Water Board Says-- Drought conditions for East Texas and the Red River Valley remained steady in most areas and slightly increased in others. The Texas Water Development Board said drought was eliminated in the Panhandle, held steady in the Eastern Red River Valley, and is expected to increase in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Although drought has increased 0.5% since last week, the percentage of statewide drought is still lower than the 15% Texas saw three months ago.
Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, February 8, 2017

Study States Next Record Drought Could Dry up Hubbard Creek Reservoir-- Although the Hubbard Creek Reservoir in the Big Country recovered from a record drought in 2015, one more could potentially put the reservoir back into drought status. A study performed by Freese and Nichols discovered that Hubbard Creek is an unreliable water source because of its potential to dry up under a record drought. The Abilene area has been preparing other reservoirs to use in case Hubbard Creek dries up again.
KTXS, Joshua Peguero, February 9, 2017


Warm Weather and Sunshine Prompt Early Field Prep in South Texas-- The abnormally warm temperatures has kicked off the start of the 2017 crop year, but farmers are still hoping for a couple inches of rain before they begin planting. Cold air associated with late winter is still a concern to the Coastal bend, but warm temperatures and adequate soil moisture across the southern region has given farmers hope for the crop season.
Southwest FarmPress, Logan Hawkes, February 1, 2017

Bee Cave Bob Predicts Early Spring-- Bob the Armadillo in Bee Cave, Texas has predicted and early Spring. Bee Cave Bob has been 100 percent accurate at predicting the weather for seven years in a row. Bob also predicts the political climate for Texas.
TWC Spectrum News, Staff Writer, February 2, 2017

Field Prep Underway for South TX Planting-- Croplands in South Texas are on target and look good following recent rains and warm temperatures which have replenished soil moisture levels. Forecasted rains will further improve conditions before planting season begins in the next month. Although most crops will be grain and sorghum, some producers may plant corn due to the soil moisture recharge.
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Adam Russell, February 2, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report - Feb. 7 -- Upcoming precipitation could give a short-term relief for crops after seeing the warmest winter months in Texas in decades.This winter, most of West Texas received higher than normal amounts of rain while North Central Texas received below normal rainfall. There has not been substantial drought this year, except for areas around Corpus Christi. Prolonged cool weather is not expected to occur for the remainder of the winter season.
AgriLife Today, Adam Russell, February 7, 2017

Student Researches Trees Recovery Since 2011 Texas Park Fire-- A recent Texas A&M graduate student has studied the trees in Bastrop State Park since 2015 after the 2011 fire in the Lost Pines forest. She has discovered that the pines are not in danger of extinction, but Post Oaks and Blackjack Oaks have been burned more heavily. However, the Oaks are better adapted for survival after a forest fire.
The Washington Times, Marty Toohey, February 10, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report-- Due to the recent heavy rains, farmers are not planting as many wheat crops in the field. The amount of planted wheat acres in the US has reached an all time low with 4.5 million acres planted rather than the 6.1 million acres planted in 2015. Short term heavy flooding delayed the cotton harvests and prevented farmers from getting into the fields to plant wheat.
AgriLife Today, Adam Russell, February 14, 2017

Wheat acres hit a 100-plus year low in U.S. -- US planted wheat acres trended to their lowest since 1909 due to low prices and uncooperative conditions early this winter. In West Texas, cotton is the number one produced crop, and wheat is a secondary fall crop that farmers typically plant in rotation after the cotton harvest during the winter. Extremely wet conditions and price drops for wheat have caused producers to not rotate in wheat as much, because the soggy ground makes it difficult for the farmers to get into the field and plant the crops.
Abilene Reporter-News, Adam Russell, February 19, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report -- Feb. 22 -- Since wheat was not planted as heavily this season in Texas due to uncooperative rain, flooding, and decreased prices, cotton production will likely increase as farmers look for an alternative to grains. Cotton is also viewed as the “biggest bang per gallon” when it comes to irrigation, so cotton may be the best fit crop moving into the upcoming dry season.
AgriLife Today, Adam Russell, February 22, 2017


With the absence of La Niña, what does this mean for spring and summer? -- Due to the absence of El Nino or La Nina, Texas is likely to see a near normal pattern of rainfall since El Nino or La Nina will not be influencing the precipitation pattern one way or another. This is the first spring since 2014 that ENSO has not had an impact on the precipitation pattern.
KVUE, Albert Ramon and Jared Plushnick, February 16, 2017

Significant Weather


Windy, Dry Weather Takes Over North Texas, but Rains are Coming-- A wind advisory is in effect for much of North Texas until Sunday evening due to gusts reaching almost 40 mph. As moisture arrives in the area Monday evening, chances for rain increase to 70%, and temperatures will cool off. Rain chances on Valentine’s Day in North Texas increase to 90% during the day and decrease to 50% in the evening. The rain and clouds will clear out by Wednesday.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr, February 12, 2017

Wet Weather Headed to Texas After Dry Winter-- A pattern of wet weather ahead following a dry winter could mean short term relief for much of Texas. Records show this winter was the warmest November through january for Texas since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Upcoming rain chances should alleviate wildfires and drought conditions temporarily.
Waco Tribune, Adam Russell, February 12, 2017

A First Alert weather day declared for Presidents’ Day -- East Texas should expect more rain on President’s Day, but severe weather is not likely for this event. This storm system is being supplied with plenty of upper level moisture, adding to the rain totals forecasted. Showers are expected to stop by the afternoon on Monday as the system pushes eastward into Louisiana, and drier air will return by next Tuesday.
KTRE, Meteorologist Brad Hlozek, February 16, 2017

Heavy rain, ‘isolated tornado’ could hit Southeast Texas on President’s Day -- The forecasted rain on Friday will not stick around for long, but but up to six inches of precipitation are expected for the next potentially severe event on President’s Day. Several rivers in Southeast Texas could reach flood stage due to the high amounts of predicted rain. Although the severe threat is low for Monday, the chance for an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
Beaumont Enterprise, Staff Writer, February 17, 2017

Brief, heavy rain possible in Houston area Friday afternoon -- An upper level disturbance could bring a chance for severe weather to the Houston area early Friday morning as well as some locally heavy rain that could develop this afternoon near the coast. More rain is expected toward the end of the weekend when another strong storm system will approach Houston late Sunday evening.
Houston Chronicle, John D. Harden, February 17, 2017

Flooding reported along I-35 near downtown, thousands reported without power -- San Antonio and Southeast Texas witnessed heavy rain, hail, and reports of tornadoes Sunday evening as a severe storm event passed by. Flooding on I-35 caused traffic hazards and delays, and 60+ mph winds were reported in the Canyon Lake area. By the end of Sunday evening, over 44,000 customers were reported without power.
KSAT, RJ Marquez, February 19, 2017

Rain coming to an end, mild and cloudy -- Most of the severe storm system has passed North Texas and is now affecting East Texas. The best chances for remaining showers will occur east of I-35W, and lingering rain should end by the afternoon. Clouds will be likely through the rest of the day, but North Texas should begin to dry out. There are no more rain chances for the rest of the week.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts February 20, 2017

5 Things to Watch in Next Week’s Weather-- An active week of weather is possible in the upcoming week as March begins and spring-like temperatures persist. Early next week, multiple upper-level disturbances, along with increased moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, will spread rain and thunderstorms from East Texas into the Southeast.
Weather Underground, Linda Lam, February 25, 2017

Rain and storm chances return to North Texas Sunday-- After enjoying time with sunshine, the Northern Texas area is expected to have showers with possible thunderstorms Sunday. If any hail comes with the storms, the largest size would be a quarter. Monday had low rain chance followed by Tuesday with a higher rain chance.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts, February 26, 2017

Central Texas center of Flash Flood Alley, city leaders track vulnerable areas-- The website has helped save lives during floods by helping people go around areas where flooding has occurred. The city is continuing to develop the website to make it more user friendly. Currently, they are only able to tell people when a road is closed for sure, but they want to add a feature to tell people they believe a road has been closed or should be closed soon. They also want to add video cameras in order to see the flooding from home.
KXAN, Claire RIcke, February 27, 2017

Warm Weather

Warm Weather Bringing Out Snakes in Big Country-- The increasingly warm February days are bringing out snakes in the Big Country. Typically snakes will come out of hibernation for a warm day and then retreat overnight. Snakes do not rattle as much and are less active during the cold, so you should be aware of your surroundings on warmer days when they thrive.
KTXS, Melissa Valdez, February 1, 2017

Groundhog May Have Gotten Forecast Wrong-- Although Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, an early summer may be in the forecast. A weak cold front will be pushing through the High Plains over the weekend, but the cooldown will be brief as another warm turnaround is expected next week.
Plainview Daily Herald, Doug McDonough, February 2, 2017

Alligator Predicts Texas Weather -- Instead of Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania, Beaumont, Texas uses an alligator named Big Al to predict the weather. Based on the meat that Big Al decides to eat, an early summer or a prolonged winter is in the forecast. Since Big Al chose chicken for lunch, no more freezing weather is expected for Texas.
NBC DFW, Staff Writer, February 3, 2017

Warm February Weather Continues this Week, with More Fog Expected-- Unseasonably warm temperatures are expected this week in Austin, with highs in the upper 80s, setting a record in Central Texas. A 20% rain chance continues Monday, but things will clear up Tuesday and push temperatures into the 80s with clear, sunny skies.
Austin American-Statesman, Mary Huber, February 5, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Warmer Weather Arrives in the Big Country-- No precipitation is in the forecast for Abilene, Texas this week. Skies will be mostly sunny Sunday and Monday, with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s. A cold front will move in Tuesday Night and will bring the lows to the mid 40s and even the upper 30s by Wednesday evening.
KTXS, Melissa Valdez, February 5, 2017

Sunny Skies Turn up the Central Texas Heat Tuesday and Wednesday-- Highs in Central Texas Tuesday have the potential to break records as well as spark concern for elevated fire danger. The warm temperatures and sunny skies will remain through the rest of the work week.
The Austin American-Statesman, Staff Writer, February 7, 2017

Record Heat this Week Bringing Early Wildfire Risk to Central Texas-- An outdoor burn ban continues for the Austin area and is expected to stay as temperatures warm and humidity decreases. Wildfire season, which usually begins in March, is expected to be worse than normal because of the lush foliage that has accumulated over the past two wet years and the extremely dry upcoming conditions.
Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, February 7, 2017

Warm Weather Records Continue to Fall this Winter-- High temperatures Saturday in Houston reached 86 degrees, several degrees above the previous record set in 1999. Warm evening temperatures in Houston on Friday also broke records.
Houston Chronicle, Ryan Handy, February 11, 2017

No More Record Heat, But Still Warmer Than Normal Today -- The Houston area was expected to look forward to warm temperatures for the day, still with no need to bring a jacket for the evening. However, for Valentine’s Day, the weather was predicted to bring heavy rain, thunderstorms, and possible tornadoes. Also, the rain will also bring in a chance of minor flooding in some streets.
KTRK, Casey Curry, February 13, 2017

Austin temps hit 85 (20 degrees above normal); storms coming Sunday -- Temperatures in Austin have reached 85 degrees, 20 degrees above the daily normal. However, clouds will move in this weekend and produce a chance of storms on Sunday. Chances of precipitation are lower Sunday morning, which should not have much of an effect on the Austin Marathon, but the chances increase into the afternoon. Sunday’s storms could produce one to two inches over the Austin area, with isolated accumulations up to four inches.
The Austin American-Statesman, Taylor Goldenstein, February 18, 2017

Records fall as hot weather continues in North Texas-- Another North Texas record was broken Thursday as the high temperatures reached 88 degrees, two degrees over the previous record of 86 degrees in 1933. Thursday was the twelfth time this winter the high temperature was over 80 degrees, breaking the previous record of 10 days over 80 degrees.
KDFW, Staff Writer, February 23, 2017

90 degrees in February? It could happen today in North Texas-- A high temperature of 90 degrees in Dallas-Fort Worth is expected Thursday afternoon, surpassing the current record high of 86 degrees, which occurred in 1933. There is an elevated fire danger throughout most of North Texas due to winds gusting up to 30 mph, record high temperatures, and dry conditions. Residents are warned not to start campfires or to toss cigarette butts outdoors because a grass fire could spread quickly.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mark David Smith, February 23, 2017

Texas weather literally has ‘no chill’ on National Chili Day -- The weather was too warm to enjoy chili, the Texas state dish, on National Chili Day. Two years ago, the high in North Texas was 30 degrees and almost an inch of ice was covering the area. However, the high temperature of 88 degrees today has some people are wishing the state dish was something colder.
KDAF, Shardae Neal, February 24, 2017

Cool/Winter Weather

Early-Week Record Warmth to Be Followed by Quick Cold Blast -- Daily record highs on Monday were set in Austin at 81 degrees. Warm air Tuesday will cause high temperatures to be 15 to 30 degrees warmer than average in Texas with the possibility to break more record highs, such as Corpus Christi at 83 degrees, Austin at 84 degrees, and Brownsville at 85 degrees.
The Weather Channel, Linda Lam, February 7, 2017

First Alert Weather: Mostly Rain, Sleet and Some Snow-- Icy roads causing hazards for vehicles and travel are likely due to heavy thunderstorms in the Lubbock area Thursday. Since temperatures are above freezing, ice or snow accumulation is unlikely, but the potential for weather related vehicle accidents remain. The precipitation will last through Tuesday and up to half an inch or more is forecasted for the area.
KCBD, Staff Writer, February 9, 2017

Winter Weather Possible Monday and Tuesday-- A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas north and west of Lubbock from early Monday morning until the afternoon. This is due to a strong low pressure system crossing West Texas Monday, bringing a threat for rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Temperatures will be near freezing, so light accumulations of ice and snow on roads and overpasses may cause travel hazards.
KTRE, Cary Allen, February 11, 2017

Record Heat Will Turn to Snow, Ice in Southern Plains-- Temperatures could drop more than 50 degrees in some spots in the Southern Plains over the weekend, including chances for snow. This weather turnaround will feel like a shock after high temperatures in the upper 80s a few days prior. Amarillo broke its all-time record high for February Friday by reaching 89 degrees, one degree higher than the previous record in 1963. Dalhart also broke its daily record high by 8 degrees when it hit 89 degrees.
Weather Underground, Jonathan Belles, February 11, 2017

Mega Storm Moving in to Northeast; Snow Possible in Texas-- A storm bringing snow, sleet, and rain from Amarillo to Lubbock will drop temperatures up to 55 degrees in Amarillo and 30 degrees in Dallas from Saturday to Monday after a week of record breaking warm temperatures. By Monday, one to three inches of rain is expected across West-Central Texas.
USA Today, Bart Jansen, February 12, 2017

Storm’s Worst to Come Today-- Most of the Panhandle is under a Winter Weather Advisory until the evening due to a system that will bring up to 4 inches of accumulated snowfall. The heaviest snowfall is expected on Tuesday from 6 AM until noon, and drivers are warned to stay off the streets due to hazardous travel conditions. Ice accumulations are expected to be less than one-tenth of an inch
Amarillo Globe-News, Ronald Balaskovitz, February 13, 2017

Wintry mix, downpours and gusty storms to threaten Texas following July-like heat -- High temperatures over the weekend in Amarillo plummeted 51 degrees from Saturday into Monday as a cold front blew through the Panhandle. A similar scene in Dallas will occur as temperatures drop over 30 degrees when the front makes its way into Northeast Texas. A wintry mix of ice and snow is expected for the Panhandle Tuesday evening. Further south, locally severe thunderstorms are bringing heavy rain and strong winds into San Antonio and Houston Tuesday evening.
AccuWeather, Renee Duff, February 14, 2017

Severe Weather

Workers Topple Rowlett Water Tower Damaged in Tornado-- A water tower in Rowlett that was severely damaged during a deadly 2015 tornado outbreak has finally been torn down. City crews on Monday afternoon brought the tower down with heavy equipment and cables as they cut the supporting legs of the water tower.
NBC DFW, Homa Bash, February 6, 2017

More Record Highs Breed Severe Weather Threat Tuesday-- Warm air on Valentine’s Day could have the potential to start a severe weather event with the possibility for tornadoes in Southeast Texas. The primary impact will be the possibility of heavy rain and street flooding as well as the chance for tornadoes. Since this storm is moving quickly, flooding is not expected to last very long.
KHOU, Blake Mathews, February 11, 2017

Magnolia High Student Killed in Crash During Severe Weather-- Authorities believe a crash between two vehicles in Magnolia may have been weather related. A Magnolia High School senior veered into oncoming traffic on her way to school during a storm producing heavy rain. Her vehicle was believed to hydroplane into a tractor-trailer, killing the teenager.
KPRC, Aaron Barker, February 14, 2017

Tornadoes Confirmed near Houston as Severe Weather Strikes Southeast Texas, Injuring 7 -- At least seven people were injured by the severe weather in the Houston area. The storms produced at least six tornadoes, which caused RV, home, and tree damage in Van Vleck along a swath one mile long. The twister was assigned a rating of EF1. An EF2 tornado was confirmed south of Rosenberg, which caused damage consistent with 130 mph wind gusts. Nearly 21,000 customers reported losing power in the Houston metro area because of the storms.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin and Chris Dolce, February 15, 2017

Fort Bend County Residents Clean Up After Storms Damaged Homes, Business-- Severe storms in Fort Bend County Tuesday have caused damage to homes and land due to the strong winds and heavy rain associated with the storms. One homeowner reported her windows were broken by flying debris, and water leaked into her house through the roof. Trees surrounding her property were broken, and some of her neighbors reported losing entire buildings on their properties due to the damaging winds.
KPRC, Staff Writer, February 15, 2017

Here’s where the Valentine’s Day tornadoes hit the Houston area -- Five tornadoes were confirmed in the Houston area on Tuesday. The tornadoes occurred between 8:00 and 8:45 AM Tuesday morning, spanned in distance from outside Wharton to near Sweeny, and ranged in intensity from EF0 to EF2. According to Scott Overpeck from the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service Office, Houston is expected to see tornadoes about seven days of the year on average starting as early as January.
Houston Chronicle, Emily Foxhall, February 15, 2017

Hail storms now bring out armies of lawyers, others wanting to file suits-- Frequent hail storms in Texas are causing trouble for insurance companies. After sustaining damage from a large hail storm, homeowners have recently been approached by third party lawyers to sue their insurance providers for not providing enough assistance for their damage claim. In this process, property insurance owners typically unknowingly loses their insurance coverage, and the lawyers make money from the lawsuits. This scandal is highest in Texas since Texas sees hail storms more frequently than other states.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, David Sampson, February 17, 2017

Risk of showers, severe thunderstorms predicted for North Texas -- Severe weather is forecasted for North Texas Sunday, including two rounds of showers and thunderstorms, damaging winds, hail, and the slight risk for a tornado. Most showers will form too the west of I-35 on Sunday afternoon, but another round of thunderstorms will come after 8 pm Sunday evening where a large area of rain is expected to hit North Texas..
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., February 19, 2017

First Alert: T-storms, tornadoes touch down in S.A. area; homes damaged -- Severe thunderstorms moving through San Antonio Sunday overnight caused damage across the area. An EF-1 tornado was reported in the area of the Quarry and Linda Drive near Highway 281 Sunday evening, and a second tornado was confirmed between Windcrest and Converse, east of I-35. There were reports of 30 damaged homes, and two nursing homes lost power.
KENS5, Staff Writer, February 20, 2017

Heavy Rain and Isolated Severe Storms -- Isolated severe thunderstorms and heavy rain is still possible Monday morning from the ArkLaTex to coastal Texas. Severe storms overnight Saturday caused damage and injuries in the San Antonio area. Minor injuries were reported and over 100 homes were damaged due to a possible tornado. More than 30,000 CPS Energy customers have lost power as of Monday morning due to the storms.
The Weather Channel, Linda Lam, February 20, 2017

Storm rips through Central Texas leaving trail of damage -- Two tornadoes caused damage in southeast Williamson County, damaging over 20 homes and blowing over a train. Gusts from the storm were up to 70 mph and downed trees and signs along the roads, along with downed power lines. The storms also brought lightning strikes that caused several house fires.
KXAN, Calily Bien and Kylie McGovern, February 20, 2017

Damage, Injuries Reported After Tornadoes Hit San Antonio, Texas -- Severe storms rolled through Texas Sunday night into Monday morning, which produced four confirmed tornadoes and widespread damage in northern San Antonio as well as four more in Austin. More than 100 structures were damaged, including an elementary school, due to a severe storm south of the San Antonio International Airport. Over 40,000 CPS Energy customers were reported without power due to the storms.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin and Ada Carr, February 21, 2017

At least 5 injured in Texas severe storm outbreak -- At least five people were injured in a severe storm that barreled through San Antonio with high winds and heavy rain early Monday morning, which cut power to 25,000 homes and businesses. More than 100 homes were damaged in the aftermath of the storm, and more than 40,000 energy customers were without power. Strong winds blew cars off roads and ripped roofs off homes.
The Weather Network, Staff Writer, February 21, 2017

Scattered Thundershowers Pushing Through Houston Area-- Rain totals in Houston ranged from 0.75 inches to 3.11 inches in Hempstead from the heavy rain system that moved through the area on President’s Day. Low clouds and isolated showers are expected Tuesday morning, but as the afternoon progresses, the rain chances dwindle. The next front will arrive late Friday.
KTRK, Casey Curry, February 21, 2017

Third and fourth Central Texas tornadoes confirmed in Sunday’s storms-- Two tornadoes were confirmed in Williamson County, causing heavy damage to buildings in the area. A third tornado, an EF-1, touched down in San Marcos, and considerably damaged a small business along with downed trees. A fourth tornado touched down in eastern Hays County and destroyed an aluminum barn, a car port, and several trees in its path. Multiple mobile homes also had significant roof damage.
CBS Austin, Staff Writer, February 22, 2017

NWS plans tornado safety drills March 8-- The possibility of severe weather in West Texas is increasing as spring approaches. The National Weather Service is encouraging all residents, businesses, and schools across the area to practice their tornado drills at 10 am Wednesday, March 8. Due to the unpredictability of severe weather, tornadoes typically have only a few minutes of advance warning, so practicing drills ensures people how to react when a real tornado situation occurs.
The San Angelo Standard-Times, Staff Writer, February 24, 2017

NWS issues severe thunderstorm warnings for East Texas counties-- The National Weather Service in Shreveport issued the thunderstorm warnings for Wood, Smith, Hunt, Hopkins and Van Zandt counties. Earlier in the evening the National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Kaufman County. This storm had the potential to bring quarter sized hail to the area.
KLTV, Staff Writer, February 27, 2017

Storm chances continue for North Texas-- North Texas had a round of showers go through the area. Then the area was expected to experience storms possibly bringing large hail and low tornado chances. These storms were not expected for the entire North Texas area. After the front passed, temperatures were expected to drop significantly.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts, February 28, 2017

Other Climate Impacts


Good Weather Brings out Many to Scotland’s German Sausage Meal-- For the last 37 years, the Knights of Columbus in Scotland, Texas have fundraised with a German sausage meal, an event that draws about 1500 people, more than 3 times the population of the town. The money raised supports the Knight’s hall, church activities, and the volunteer fire department. The bountiful crowd was thanked to the clear, sunny weather on the day of the fundraiser.
Times Record News, Lauren Roberts, February 5, 2017

Storm Spotter Training Program Scheduled for Feb 18-- The National Weather Service in Fort Worth is holding free classes at the SKYWARN severe weather program in partnership with the Rockwall County Emergency management. This class is for organized storm spotters and anyone with an interest in severe weather, and will discuss thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe and nonsevere storms.
Rowlett Lakeshore Times, Staff Writer, February 11, 2017


Winter Car Accidents are a Deadly Weather Hazard-- Since 2011, Texas has been the eighth-most deadly state for car crashes in the winter. Although northern cities such as Dallas see only about two inches of snow a year, numerous deadly crashes occur because of wintry precipitation. These crashes may stem from the low amounts of snow Texas receives in a year since people aren’t accustomed to driving in the wintry conditions and may not own proper equipment.
USA Today, Doyle Rice, February 6, 2017

Rains leave Dallas-Fort Worth mostly unscathed, while San Antonio gauges storm damage -- Several road accidents have been reported across the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to slick roads from Monday’s heavy rain. The storm system was initially forecasted to include a threat of large hail and a chance of tornadoes, but the storm weakened quicker than expected as it moved east towards Dallas-Fort Worth
The Dallas Morning News, Julieta Chiquillo and Claire Z. Cardona, February 20, 2017

Powerful storms cause heavy damage in some parts of Central Texas -- Several rail cars derailed overnight in Thorndale, Texas due to strong winds from Sunday night’s severe storm. One family reported an overturned cattle truck and damage to their pickup truck along with devastating damage to their equipment barn. Winds peaked at 85 mph with this storm system, damaging at least 20 homes along with outbuildings and the train cars.
KWTX, Nia Harden, February 20, 2017

Storm chasers honor Bill Paxton with GPS tribute in Tornado Alley-- Bill Paxton inspired a generation of storm chasers and meteorologists with his role in Twister. The movie made meteorology cool for the first time and inspired thousands to become Meteorologists. Because of this, around 200 storm chasers paid tribute to Bill Paxton by spelling out BP in GPS coordinates in the heart of tornado alley. The center of the tribute was Wakita, Oklahoma where the film Twister was recorded.
The Dallas Morning News, Staff Writer, February 26, 2017


Opportunities Remain for Wingshooters-- Typically, the bird hunting season ends in winter when birds migrate towards warmer climates. However, the mild winter we experienced and the warm February temperatures have kept birds around for longer. Hunters are able to take advantage of the bird hunting seasons that have not ended yet, such as the Snipe, Snow Goose, and the Quail due to the warmer weather.
Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, February 1, 2017


Super Bowl Sunday Could be a Rainy, Dreary Mess-- A warm front moving through Houston overnight will bring fog and drizzle in the morning, as well as a 30% chance of light rain in the early afternoon. As the front passes, high temperatures will reach the mid 70s and the low temperature will be in the mid 60s. Showers are possible the next few days as a cold front passes through Tuesday evening.
Houston Chronicle, Keri Blakinger, February 4, 2017

Texas Winter Weather Just Too Nice for Army Training-- A lot of Army training is done in cold and rainy weather and fair-weathered training days are hard to come by, but since this winter has been mostly warm and sunny skies, braving the outdoors has not been difficult. The Army takes advantage of windy days, such as the ones this week, by practicing rifle adjustment training.
Fort Hood Herald, Staff Writer, February 8, 2017

Look Up: 3 Things to Look for Friday Night-- A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible Friday evening as the Earth passes between the moon and the sun. As the light from the sun is blocked, a shadow is cast on the moon. After the eclipse, the New Year Comet will come closer to Earth than it has been since 2011 and will be visible early Saturday morning.
NBC DFW, Samantha Davies, February 10, 2017

Threat of weather alters Sunday schedule for Longhorns and Owls -- The finale of the season-opening baseball series between the Texas Longhorns and the Rice Owls has been moved ahead two hours due to the threat of severe weather. The Longhorns and Owls were originally set to meet at 2 PM, but now the series finale will take place at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at noon on Sunday.
Austin American-Statesman, Danny Davis, February 16, 2017

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