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Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through February 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, January 1, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor, January 29, 2013

Will This Rain End the Drought?- As rain comes pouring down in Central Texas the drought still lingers. It would take over 8 inches of rain to remove the region from drought conditions, as lake Buchanan is 15 feet below average and 96% of the state is in some form of dry weather pattern.
KVUE News, Albert Ramon, January 8, 2013

Despite Rain, Texas on Track for the Worst Drought on Record- The population getting their water from Highlands Lake has massively increased since the last record drought, but this one is just as bad if not worse. The lack of rainwater has already caused emergency conservation for the LCRA and they call for more storage basin construction and conservation.
YNN Austin, Dan Robertson, January 9, 2013

Recent Rain Making a Dent in Houston Area Drought- Houston proper has received about three inches of rain this month and some outlying areas have reported over five inches of rain. This rain has helped to bring much of the area into better conditions, but out west and around Corpus Christi rains are still desperately needed.
KTRK News, Tim Heller, January 17, 2013

Rain Helped but Drought Persists in County- Even after the heavy rains and a surprise snowstorm earlier this month, the drought lingers onward. The National Weather Service issued a reminder of the still persistent drought conditions and said that conditions are not likely to improve soon. This all comes after a record dry 9-month period where a 12-inch rainfall deficit was recorded.
Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Kellar, January 24, 2013

Houston Barely Stays Out of Drought Status- After two years of below normal drought conditions, the Houston area is still teetering on drought conditions despite above normal rainfall this month. Though East Texas, including Houston, is not officially listed as suffering from drought conditions, moderate drought conditions exist just to the west.
KPRC News, Eric Braate, January 24, 2013

Water Supply

Did Two Day Rain Event Help Lake Levels?- With 3.5 inches of rain reported in two days’ time, creeks swelled and rivers rose and lakes began to fill with water. Lake Lavon rose by roughly two inches. The rain was well timed since evaporation rates are low and dormant vegetation allows for more runoff directly where it is needed.
KTVT News, Jeff Ray, January 10, 2013

Drought, Low Snowfall May Limit El Paso Region’s Water Supply- The snowpack at high elevations at the mouth of the Rio Grande has been up to 70% below normal, worrying those who monitor the water supply for El Paso. The decrease in snowfall means a decrease in runoff and the region is already suffering from extended drought, so more conservation and planning will be needed.
El Paso Times, Diana Washington Valdez, January 14, 2013

Lake Nacogdoches Nears Full Pool as City Continues Well Construction- For the first time in three years Lake Nacogdoches has hit capacity. Though not currently necessary the city continues the construction of wells along F.M. 255 to prepare for drought conditions ahead if the lake should dry up.
The Daily Sentinel, Paul Bryant, January 19, 2013

Recent Rains Fall Short on Lake Relief- The recent soaking in early January brought much needed rain, but the parched ground absorbed most of the moisture, leaving little runoff for lakes. Lake Buchanan has been below 1,000 feet MSL for over a year, the first time that this has happened since the lake was created.
KXAN News, David Yeomans, January 23, 2013

Agricultural Impacts

‘Million Dollar Rain’ Gives Wheat Crops a Boost- It often surprises people to hear how much it actually costs to farm, and the recent rains that fell may have helped to save the wheat crop, thus dubbing it a ‘million dollar rain.’ More rain is still needed according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in order to ensure the harvest of crops across the state.
KAMR News, Alexandra Stone, January 18 ,2013

Drought Drags Down 2012 Cotton Production Estimates- Though the cotton crop has yet to be fully quantified for 2012, estimates dropped by 500,000 bales due to drought conditions. The past two years’ drought has hindered cotton production in Texas with 2011’s production the record lowest. This low production caused a spike in prices and then a reactionary plant rush across the globe. Dry conditions are expected to linger over the next few years according to Dr. John Nielsen Gammon, the state climatologist.
San Angelo Standard Times, Jerry Lackey, January 23, 2013

Tighter Water Supplies Spur Technological Growth- With water supplies dwindling and Texas’s population expected to double in the next 50 years, the already draining Ogallala Aquifer needs relief from conservation. Agricultural uses consume 85% of the water in the Panhandle and new conservation techniques such as pivot and drip irrigation may be more widely used to conserve this precious resource.
KFDA News, Jeff Stebbins, January 24, 2013

Inclement Weather


Non-Stop Rain may Produce Flooding Across East Texas- The National Weather Service held conference calls with area emergency management teams to discuss the upcoming deluge of rainfall expected across the region. Meteorologists predict that an average of 3-4 inches of rain should fall across the area triggering flooding and flash floods.
Longview News-Journal, Peggy Jones, January 9, 2013

Severe Weather Moves Out of Houston Area- Several inches of rain were dropped across the Houston Metro area raising the risk for flooding. All of the rain at such a quick pace prompted many school districts to cancel outdoor afterschool events.
KPRC News, January 9, 2013

Rain Causes Unexpected Flooding in Bedford- DFW saw between 2 and 4 inches of rain overnight, causing some expected flooding in many areas. The construction area around the North Tarrant Expressway flooded stumping workers who said that the drains were working properly. High water flooded underpasses below highway 183 and along the service road.
KTVT News, Elizabeth Dinh, January 9, 2013

Portions of Burleson County Flooded After Days of Rainfall- Over six inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Burleson County, causing a great deal of flooding and forcing Snook ISD, and some businesses, to close early. Many see this as an answered prayer after the bone-dry conditions over the last few years.
KBTX News, Clay Falls, January 9, 2013

Downtown Art Market Closing Early Because of Rain- “The Downtown Art Market is closing at 11:30 today due to rain. The National Weather [S]ervice there [called for a] 50 percent chance of rain today. Many areas in El Paso are seeing precipitation. The Market will resume normal operating hours of 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb, 2.”
The El Paso Times, January 26, 2013

Cold/Winter Weather

Mix of Snow and Rain Falling in Hill Country- A bit of winter weather occurred to the west of Austin, bringing enough snow for children to go out for a snowball fight or a quick trip on a sled. This is the Hill Country’s first snowfall of the year.
KTBC News, Derrick Mitcham, January 4, 2013

Cold Temperatures Bring Winter Weather- Snow and freezing rain fell across North Texas on Monday with heavier accumulations falling to the east of DFW. Snow fell in the northern counties, while sleet mixed with freezing rain to the south.
KXAS News, Greg Janda, January 14, 2013

Prosper Family Builds Snow Fort on Snow Day- After Prosper ISD canceled classes due to about an inch of snow, the Cody family boys built a large snow fort in their front yard using up all the snow in both their yard and their neighbors yard. The fort can fit about five people and the boy’s mother thinks that canceling school was a great idea because of the rarity of snow and the safety on the roads.
KTVT News, Catherine Ross, January 15, 2013

Other Climate Impacts


Dallas Elementary Students Suffer through another Day with No Heat- Students at two Dallas ISD elementary schools had to bundle up in order to head to class this week, for the heat at both Hall and Henderson Elementary Schools has gone out. This worries some parents of younger children, but the district claims that the problem will be resolved quickly.
KTVT News, Stephanie Lucero, January 16, 2013


Cold Weather Hurting Business at Austin Food Trailers- Business tends to drop for food trailers during certain weather events, and deep cold is not an exception. Trucks in North Austin saw a 90% decrease in sales due to the cold, while along Congress Avenue shops had to close up a little early.
KVUE News, Ashley Goudeau, January 4, 2013

Cold Weather Affects Businesses, Shoppers- With the coldest part of the year so far settling in on Southeast Texas business are beginning to hurt. Pool supply stores, nurseries, and golf courses are places that see customers and profits drop off during the cold weather as people try to stay away from the cold.
KBTV News, Erin Nichols, January 15, 2013

Cargill Meatpacking Plant Cuts 2,000 Jobs in Texas- Cargill announced that on February 1 the meat packing plant in Plainview, Texas will be closed and all workers laid off due to low cattle populations. Herd sizes all across the plains and southwest have dropped due to the drought and Cargill delayed the closing of the plant as long as possible. Cargill is Plainview’s largest employer and this closure may have big impacts on the local economy.
San Antonio Express News, Betsy Blaney, January 17, 2013


$2 Billion Proposed to Ensure Water Supply- A bill has been proposed in the Texas House that would appropriate $2 billion from Texas’s rainy day fund to provide financial support for the state’s dire need for new water supply. A predicted large upswing in population, coupled with a drought in the future, could cripple the economy, so lawmakers and other organizations are looking deeply into the need for water across the state focusing on conservation and new resources.
The Houston Chronicle, Matthew Tresaugue, January 10, 2013

Amid Drought, Water Wars Pick up on Borders- Decades old agreements between Mexico and the surrounding state have been brought into the courts across Texas as water woes cause some backlash over who gets water and when.
The Texas Tribune, Audrey White, January 16, 2013

Lubbock’s Strategic Water Plan Gets Mixed Reviews at Public Forum- The first unveiling of the Lubbock region’s 100 year water plan only drew 20 people to the forum, even after two years of discourse. The plan calls for millions in water resource investments many of which are controversial. The plan calls for anywhere between $4.1 billion to $10 billion over the next 100 years, with as much as $300 million budgeted for individual projects.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Adam Young, January 18, 2013


Texas State Parks Struggling with Fewer Visitors- A triple whammy of drought, heat, and wildfires last year helped to create a deep hole in state parks’ budgets, for park visitation dropped with the poor weather. Overall a $4.6 million budget gap has hit the parks and Wildlife Department for last year.
The Houston Chronicle, January 4, 2013


Body Shops Prepare for and Influx of Snow Damaged Vehicles- After this week’s snowstorms, many cars were involved in accidents necessitating a trip to the body shop. Experts warn that though the storm is gone the danger still remains as roads will still be slick because of black ice.
KFOX News, January 4, 2013

Potholes Open Up After Recent Rain and Snow- Wet conditions, combined with frequent temperature drops below freezing, are the perfect scenarios for the formation of potholes, and that is exactly what has happened across Abilene the past few weeks. This has drivers more cautious on the roads and repair crews busy.
KRBC News, Adrian Castellano, January 17, 2013

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