Skip Nav

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through February 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, January 7, 2014
U.S. Drought Monitor, January 28, 2014

Most of County Starts Year Under Drought—Nearly all of Hunt County has begun the 2014 calendar year under moderate drought conditions. Lake Tawakoni is currently listed as 66.7% full, Lake Lavon at 48.3%, and Cooper Lake at 34.4%.
The Greenville Herald-Banner, Brad Kellar, January 6, 2014

USDA Issues natural Disaster Declaration for Central Texas—Though heavy rains were seen in Austin last fall, they did not fall in the Highland Lake’s watershed and gave no help to the dire situation for the main source of over one million people’s water. The USDA issued a natural disaster declaration for Burnet, Llano, Lampasas, and Travis counties, making farmers eligible for low interest loans. The Highland Lakes are at a combined capacity of 38% and still dropping.
KVUE News, Ashley Goudeau, January 17, 2014

Drought Continues to Grip Lubbock—Lubbock, and the state of Texas in general, has been in a drought for the past few years, and it doesn’t look like we will be getting out of it anytime soon. 2012 was the driest year in Lubbock history, and 2013 was roughly 6.5 inches below normal for precipitation. Currently the city is under stage 1 drought restrictions which is down from stage 2 in 2012.
The Daily Toreador, Kaitlin Bain, January 22, 2014

Texas Panhandle Drought on Record Streak—The Panhandle has reached a new record for the driest three year period in history, with the 2011-2013 period being drier than the 1954-1956 drought. The area is at nearly half of the normal precipitation expected over this three year period and things are not looking any better. The Climate Prediction Center calls for the drought to persist and possibly intensify through April, and the State Climatologist calls for the dryness to continue.
The Amarillo Globe News, Kevin Welch, January 26, 2014

Water Supply

Lake Levels Drop—Local lake levels are lower than last week as Wichita Falls remains under a stage 4 drought. Lake Kickapoo is at 31.5% and Lake Arrowhead is at 27.5% capacity.
KAUZ News, January 7, 2014

College Station Honored with Conservationist of the Year Award—The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District recognized the city of College Station for its strong stance on water conservation over the previous year. The tiered pricing structure, water restrictions, and irrigation maintenance all led to an overall saving of 210 million gallons of water.
The Eagle, Beth Brown, January 10, 2014

Many Texans at Risk of Running Out of Water—A new report issued by the State Comptroller’s Office says that thousands of Texas are at risk to run out of water. The report cited over 23,000 people are at risk for running out of water within the next 45 days and another 47,000 more within 90 days. The office calls for cities to conserve, saying that if every city reduced consumption by 10% the state could save 487,000 acre-feet of water per year.
KVUE News, Jessica Vess, January 14, 2014

Corps Respond to Low Lake Texoma Levels—Lake Texoma is currently under a drought level 2 contingency plan as it sits at 67% capacity. The decreased capacity has the Army Corps of Engineers on alert to changes to be made with lake usage. The lake provides a large of amount of hydroelectric power to the region and is also used for the water supply of Dallas-Fort Worth, and dwindling levels may require action to limit electricity production in order to conserve water.
The Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, January 17, 2014

Public Notice Drought Contingency Plan—The City of Alice has downgraded its drought level to stage 1 voluntary conservation after heavy rains refilled Lake Corpus Christi to an elevation of 92.6 feet. This is down from the previous stage 3 drought conservation for the city. The city manager will continue to monitor water consumption and lake levels to determine any more actions at a later date.
The Alice Echo-News Journal, January 17, 2014

Drought puts Austin Area Lakes Near Record Lows—Two key lakes near Austin are at their second lowest levels since the dams on the river were constructed in the 1940s. The inflow into the lakes is the second lowest ever as well, with only the record drought period of 2011 bringing in less water to the lakes.
KPRC News, January 17, 2013

Hubbard Creek Reservoir at its Lowest Level Since 1965—The persistent drought across Texas has hit the Big Country hard. Abilene’s main water source, Lake Hubbard Creek, has hit its lowest level since 1965 and currently sits at 25% capacity.
The Abilene Reporter News, John Mangalonzo, January 26, 2014

Victoria Enters Stage 1 of Water Conservation—The Guadalupe River has dropped below a critical level in water flow, triggering stage one water restrictions for the city of Victoria. Public Works Director Lynn Short asked that residents conserve water for the time being and conservation requirements will be lifted if the river returns to normal levels for 14 days straight.
The Victoria Advocate, January 30, 2014

Agricultural Impacts

Rebuilding Texas Cattle herds After Drought Will be Expensive—The extensive two-year drought that plagued Texas is starting to loosen its grip, but the ranchers who wish to rebuild their cattle herds have a huge monetary hurdle to conquer. With cattle numbers at their lowest values since the 1950s, the price of a single heifer has jumped over $1,000.
KDFW News, Jenny Anchondo, January 5, 2014

Drought, Extreme Temperatures May do Damage to Wheat in High Plains—Though East Texas has fared well with ample precipitation this past fall, the Panhandle has not benefited from rainfall. To add on top of that temperatures have been bitterly cold. Temperatures in the single digits and low rainfall may set the stage for a large-scale winter kill off of wheat. Damage is not evident immediately, but takes a week or so to show effects, so farmers should be aware of possible damage from cold and drought.
AgriLife Today, Kay Ledbetter, January 13, 2014

USDA Designates 108 Counties in Texas as Primary Natural Disaster Areas—The streamlined Secretarial Disaster Designation process has allowed the USDA to issue a disaster declaration for 108 counties in Texas, allowing farmers in those counties to take advantage of low interest emergency loans to make up for losses. The declaration comes for counties that have been under a D2 level drought for eight weeks or more.
The Alice Echo-News Journal, January 17, 2014

Inclement Weather

Cold/Winter Weather

Hard Freeze Warning in Effect throughout Houston—Another night of bitter cold temperatures has homeowners and farmers preparing for the worst. Insulation has been selling quickly at Southland Hardware, and the Froberg Farm in Alvin has been rolling out blankets to cover up 33 acres of strawberries. Blankets are also being passed out to the homeless, which number over 9,000 in the Houston metro area.
KPRC News, Mark Boyle, January 6, 2014

Cold Weather Leaves Layer of Frost on Homes in Annaville—Temperatures dipped to 30 degrees overnight on Monday and with scattered sleet and even a few snowflakes, residents of Annaville woke of to a bit of ice. Though not like the record snow of December 2004, it did give rooftops an icy glaze.
KIII News, January 7, 2014

Cold Weather Sparking More House Fires—Yet another house fire in San Antonio erupted possibly due to unsafe home heating in the 9600 block of Heidelburg early in the morning. This is part of a string of house fires sparked the past few days as cold weather affects the area.
WOAI News, Jim Forsyth, January 7, 2014

Sleet and Snow Flurries Fall in Brazos Valley Creating Problems—Snow and sleet began to fall across the Brazos valley late on Thursday night creating some slick spots on area roadways and bridges. Several accidents were reported along OSR and into Calvert. TxDOT has begun sanding roadways in advance of the winter weather.
KBTX News, Clay Falls, January 23, 2014

Beeville Covered in Ice Due to Freezing Temperatures—Moisture in the air combined with freezing temperatures left much of the city of Beeville covered in a light layer of ice. An electrical outage due to the ice made Bishop CISD cancel classes.
KIII News, January 24, 2014

Hundreds of Wrecks, Power Outages as City Socked by Ice Storm—The worst ice storm to hit San Antonio since 2011 has left thousands without power due to icing on power poles and all schools in the area with either canceled classes or a delayed start. Hundreds of wrecks have been reported on area roadways as ice began building up shortly after midnight.
WOAI News, Jim Forsyth, January 24, 2014

A Real Winter’s Day Turns Houston Hapless—A winter storm made an impact of Houston overnight on Thursday canceling classes for 36 school districts, causing the cancellation of 150 flights out of Hobby and Bush, and closing 60 roads across the region. Hundreds of wrecks were reported despite the lower traffic during the morning rush hour. The ice did not last long though, for by the evening commute roads were back to normal.
The Houston Chronicle, Matthew Tresaugue, January 24, 2014

Snow Day Creates Different Kinds of Memories—The rare snowfall in Nacogdoches left some people reeling after losing control of their vehicles, but many others relishing the welcome sight. Classes at Stephen F. Austin University were canceled, and students were found on improvised sleds sliding down hills.
KTRE News, Donna McCollum, January 24, 2014

Let it Snow!—Between three and four inches of snow fell in Walker County on Thursday night, a rare sight for South Texans. Students at Sam Houston State University, children, and parents alike crammed parks and open areas to get a good dose of the white stuff which some people were seeing for the first time.
The Huntsville Item, Stephen Green, January 24, 2014

Northwest Houston Residents Surprised by Snow Flurries—Snow flurries began to fall in northwest Houston shortly before noon, surprising some who are not used to winter making a trip so far south. Those from the north though, find this Texas version of winter comical.
KHOU News, Sherry Williams, January 28, 2014

Other Climate Impacts


Spring ISD Students brave Freezing Temperatures—Many students who normally walk to school were driven by their parents as they returned to class after winter break. Temperatures below freezing have students bundled up and prepared for an even colder Tuesday.
KHOU News, January 6, 2014

Nacogdoches ISD Delaying Tuesday Classes Due to Cold Temps—The extremely cold temperatures expected on Tuesday morning have prompted school officials to delay school openings by two hours. The cited cause is the danger associated with students waiting for the bus in the cold weather.
KTRE News, January 6, 2014

Animals/ Aquatic Life

Winter Weather Affects Wildlife—Cold weather causes our cold-blooded neighbors to change their daily routine up a bit to survive. When the cold comes in snakes, lizards, and crocodiles try to find a warm place in a burrow or under a rock to hold out until warmer temperatures arrive, so when the warm temps come back don’t be surprised to see a snake or two soaking up the sun.
The Montgomery Courier, January 2, 2014

Drop in Temperatures Causes Another Bout of Cold Stunned Turtles—The sudden cold snap has hit the Gulf Coast’s sea turtle population hard. Just on Tuesday employees at the Padre Island National Seashore said they rescued 30 turtles that were cold stunned by the sudden shift in temperatures.
KIII News, January 7, 2014


Power Demand in Texas Reaches New Winter Record—The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says that a new winter power usage record was set when the state of Texas used 57,277 megawatts of electricity on Monday. The high usage and the failure of two power plants required ERCOT to issue a conservation alert for the state.
KEYE News, January 7, 2014

Very Cold Weather Cited as Cause of Soaring Electric Bills—Upshur Electric Cooperative has received many calls lately from customers complaining of higher than usual electric bills. The higher bills are due to much colder than normal temperatures, and thus higher bills as customers heat their homes. Upshur purchased 101,322 megawatt hours of electricity for the region, over 10,000 KW hours more than this time last year.
The Gilmer Mirror, Phillip Williams, January 16, 2014

Auto Repair Shops Cashing in on Ice Storm—Over 250 wrecks were responded to by the Austin Police Department on Thursday night, and this means big business for local auto body shops. Insurance adjusters across the city are busy responding to claims for auto repair due to the wrecks caused by drivers losing control on icy roadways.
KEYE News, January 24, 2014


San Antonio’s Cold May have Killed a Man—The bitter cold temperatures that bottomed out at 23 degrees Tuesday morning may be responsible for killing a homeless man overnight. The man in his 40s was found Tuesday morning under I-10 with only one blanket, and hypothermia is expected to be the cause of death.
San Antonio Express News, Michelle Mondo, January 7, 2014

Central Texas Emergency Rooms Filled with Ice Storm Victims—Emergency rooms across central Texas were busy treating more patients due to slips on the ice or car crashes related to the ice. People affected suffered everything from broken arms to concussions from falls.
KEYE News, Rachel Kent, January 28, 2014


Water Tops Eric Opiela’s Campaign Platform for Texas Ag Commissioner—The state has been in drought for years, and the lack of water has not passed Eric Opiela’s attention. As his campaign for the Texas Agriculture Commissioner begins, he places most of the emphasis in his campaign on finding and funding ways to conserve and create water resources.
The Potpourri, Alex Endress, January 15, 2014

LCRA Proposes Nearly 20 Percent Rate Hike—The price of water in several cities in the LCRA district could increase by nearly 20% next year as the drought continues. With Lakes Travis and Buchanan at a combined 38% capacity, the value of water in those lakes is only going up.
KEYE News, January 15, 2014

Wichita Falls Hoping to Get Support with Cloud Seeding Project—The Wichita Falls Public Works Director is looking to garner support from local counties for a cloud seeding project to replenish local lakes. The cost of the project is $50,000 per month at a minimum, and the city is not sure if it can handle this cost alone. The deadline for the licensing of the project is fast approaching as a decision and application needs to be made by January 30.
KFDX News, January 26, 2014


Texas Zoo Closed Tuesday because of Cold Weather—The Texas Zoo will be closed on Tuesday because of the lack of attendance expected with the cold weather. If park attendance is down then the zoo, which is a non-profit, loses money. Zookeepers will be on hand to keep animals safe and warm during the cold snap.
The Victoria Advocate, January 6, 2014


Fred Hartman Bridge Shuts Down Due to Ice-Again—Around noon on Saturday the Fred Hartman Bridge in Houston was closed due to ice falling from the cables on the bridge, putting drivers at risk. The bridge was also closed the day before due to ice on the roadway.
KTRK News, January 25, 2014

Ice Causes Closures on Various highways, Harbor Bridge—The Harbor Bridge was closed for a few minutes after ice buildup caused a crash on the northbound lanes. The bridge and other roadways were reopened later Friday morning after temperatures climbed back above freezing.
KIII News, January 24, 2014

Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.