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Burn Bans/Fire

County-wide burn bans through February 1

South Plains prepares for grass fires: conditions make for perfect fire-storm -- The chance of fires in the South Plains will increase Saturday into Sunday as dry, windy conditions will persist. Postponing outdoor fires and being aware while working with hot machines in dry conditions are a couple of steps that can be taken to avoid a blaze from starting.
KCBD, Kasie Davis, January 23, 2016

Risk of wildfires increase in Central texas -- Central Texas has seen less than half an inch of rainfall so far this year. This number is 1.75 inches below average and is raising concerns of fire danger. The National Weather Service is forecasting Critical Fire Weather conditions early next week due to a breezy, dry cold front. Unless absolutely needed, outdoor burning should be kept to a minimum. The main areas of concern are West Texas.
Jim Spencer, KXAN, January 29, 2016


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, January 5, 2016
U.S. Drought Monitor, January 26, 2016


Dairy Cow Death Toll to Surpass 30,000 in Texas, New Mexico Due to Winter Storm Goliath -- The winds during the storm are probably the cause of the death of the animals. During the storm, there were drifts as high as 14 feet. These caused the animals to be pushed into fence corners and suffocated. The Lubbock, Friona and Muleshoe area produces about 40% of Texas’s milk, and it is estimated that 15,000 dairy cows died in that area alone. The rest of the state lost about 5,000 cows, bringing up the total of lost cows for Texas to 20,000. Production will be affected by this for about a year. In addition to this, the cows left were not milked in two days, which means they produce less milk for a few months afterwards. Also, there was milk ready to leave the farms, and the trucks were unable to reach the farms, due to the storms, so that milk went to waste.
The Weather Channel, Ada Carr, January 1, 2016

‘Wet’ whitetail deer season yields mixed results -- The 2015-2016 whitetail hunting season will be remembered for quality over quantity. As the season begins to wind down, hunters took fewer deer, but the ones taken were above average in body conditions.
The Houston Chronicle, January 2, 2016, Shannon Tompkins

Last December blizzard strikes devastating blow to Texas dairy industry -- The Texas Association of Dairymen reported thousands of livestock were killed during the blizzard in December. Financial losses are expected to be a major impact to dairy farmers who lost animals. The blizzard impacted cow milkers and delivery truck drivers as well.
AccuWeather, Kevin Byrne, January 8, 2016

Deadly weather causes heavy herd loss across Southwest -- Estimated cattle losses in the Texas Panhandle ranges from 5,000 to over 50,000, but either still have implications on ranchers. Winter Storm Goliath killed thousands of cows and now puts strain on the dairy industry because of production loss. The Texas Animal Health Commission is helping to locate and count missing or dead livestock.
Southwest Farm Press, Logan Hawkes, January 11, 2016

Winter wheat survives snow, ice -- Winter Storm Goliath dumped a layer of snow on the Texas Panhandle and thus all the winter crops trying to grow. The layer of snow actually acted as insulation for wheat crops so sub freezing temperatures could no wreak havoc. The cold temperatures also help protect against crop disease.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Josie Musico, January 18, 2016

Cotton harvest is bumping along -- Overall in Texas’ Rolling Plains cotton was around average, which is surprising to some farmers. This year’s crop was planted on less acres so the yield is higher than last year’s. The warm temperatures in the fall and early winter contributed to the crops success.
Times Record News, Hanaba Welch, January 19, 2016

Holiday storm hits Southwest dairy, beef operations -- Dairy farmers in the Texas Panhandle are recovering from devastating losses from the December blizzard. Since then ranchers have been able to get cattle in the far reaches of their ranch grain and water. However, some ranchers have a long to-do-list to catch up on their losses.
High Plains Journal, Dave Bergmeier, January 20, 2016

Only 20 percent of Blacklands wheat planted -- The wheat crop grown in the Blacklands has had some unlucky conditions to deal with, unlike most other areas in Texas that plant wheat. The rains during the last three months of 2015 left soils waterlogged; conditions not fruitful for wheat to grow.
The Waco-Tribune, Robert Burns, January 31, 2016

Significant Weather

Winter Weather

Heavy Snow and Ice Cause Texas Tech Athletic Center Roof to Collapse -- The Texas Tech athletic center accumulated enough ice during Winter Storm Goliath to cause it to completely collapse. The university recently finalized plans of a new athletic center, but the athletic director is looking into the possibility of fixing the collapsed center so student athletes can continue to train.
Weather Channel, Anna Norris, January 1, 2016

More winter weather expected Tuesday -- A brief visit by another round of winter weather will arrive Tuesday and early Wednesday. A wintry mix is expected with little accumulation in the Eastern portions of the Panhandle. Icing, and thus serious travel impacts, is not expected.
KXXV, John Robinson, January 4, 2016

Cold weather has critters moving into North Texas homes -- Dallas residents are finding winter weather has brought along friends with it. Neighborhood critters have found new sources of shelter with the cold weather - under homes, in bushes, and under patios. However, animal removal businesses are booming because of it
WFAA, Marie Saavedra, January 6, 2016

A Brief Break from Winter Weather -- Wet, wintry weather in West Texas will come to an end mid-week, but will be back with a weaker storm system by the weekend. Strong westerly winds will bring drier air and high temperatures in the 50s into the area. Snow piles will not melt rapidly, but most areas with snow cover should melt before the next round of winter weather arrives.
KTRE, John Robinson, January 6, 2016

Wintry weather returns -- The short-lived warm up in Lubbock and the Texas Panhandle will come to an end with another round of wintry weather. Rain will transition into snow after sunset Friday. Accumulations will near 2 inches in the northern parts of the panhandle and Lubbock could see half an inch or more by saturday afternoon.
KXXV, John Robinson, January 7, 2016

Lubbock receives 2.1” of snow Friday night, Cold weather continues Saturday -- Roads to remain hazardous in areas after upwards of 2 inches of snow fell in Lubbock. Snow will melt as temperatures warm above freezing, but snow melt could refreeze overnight Saturday.
KCBD, Cary Allen, January 9, 2016

It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter -- Central Texas will be chilly for the next couple days after a strong cold front moved through the area Friday night. Overnight temperatures will dip below freezing and warm into the 40s during the day. However, it will be dry as rain is not in the forecast until mid next week.
Killeen Daily Herald, JC Jones, January 10, 2016

First freeze of season possible this weekend in San Antonio -- Sub freezing wind chill temperatures are expected Friday and Saturday morning in San Antonio. The blast of cold air comes from the cold front that made its way through Texas Thursday. Temperatures will dip below freezing before factoring in the wind chill, but the chill will not last long.
San Antonio Express-News, Mark Wilson, January 20, 2016

Cold Into Friday -- Gusty north winds associated with the passing of a cold front delivered 20 degree wind chills this morning near Wichita Falls. Temperatures will begin to increase, but winds will stay toward the high side through the weekend. There will be a few disturbances next week, but rain chances will be slim.
KAUZ-TV, John Cameron, January 21, 2016

Winter weather impacts West Texas -- A blast of cold air brought rain and snow to West Texas. it also prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Weather Advisory. Total accumulations are difficult to forecast because while snow is forming, it is melting before hitting the ground in some places. Anywhere from a dusting to three inches is expected and temperatures will be in the 70s by the weekend.
KWES, Mariel Ruiz, January 26, 2016

Colder weather expected back on Tuesday as front moves in -- Most of Texas will warm before a shot of cold air arrives Monday night. Unseasonable, but not uncommon, high temperatures will make way to more February-like conditions. A temperature drop of upwards of 25 degrees will occur with the arrival of this front. No winter weather is expected.
The Dallas Morning News, Claire Cardona, January 30, 2016


Austin swung from deadly deluge to drought, then back to deadly deluge -- Lake Travis in Central Texas went from 38 percent full early 2015 to 93 percent full as of early January. Much of the bipolar Texas weather can be related to El Niño, which, according to forecasters, has not made its greatest impact in Texas yet.
The Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, January 7, 2016

Work necessary to prevent more erosion; weather caused delay -- The landslide along the Lake Lewisville Dam is finally being repaired after weather delayed the start during last month. The $6.4 million project will repair a 161-foot-long landslide that occurred after historic June rainfall of last year.
Denton Chronicle, Robert Wilonsky, January 17, 2016

Repairs begin on 160-foot landslide at North Texas dam -- Weather has delayed repairs on the Dallas-area dam which sustained a 160-foot-long landslide. While repairs have been delayed for almost two months, crews are now at the site and say there is no immediate threat to more soil slippage.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Staff Writer, January 18, 2016

Fort Worth forecast: Rest of Thursday will be wet and cold -- Cold, dreary weather will stick around Thursday with temperatures dropping into the 30s. A few areas in North Texas could see up to half an inch, but most areas will see far less. After record breaking precipitation in 2015, the New Year has gotten off to a slow start.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, January 21, 2016

Severe Weather

Deadly flooding, tornadoes strike north Texas -- Hundreds of people in Texas are still recovering from severe storms that damaged and destroyed homes. Texas Governor made disaster declarations for four North Texas counties where an EF4 tornado struck killing 8 people.
The Bell Ringer, Emmett Howard, January 3, 2016

Texas Roadhouse helps tornado relief victims -- North Texas restaurants are fundraising to help tornado victims from the severe storms in December. On January 6th, ten percent of sales from 20 Texas Roadhouse locations will be donated to the Red Cross Relief Fund.
KFDA, Kaylee Marchak, January 5, 2016

Main job for schools after North Texas tornadoes: Restore kids’ routine -- Garland ISD schools are trying to bring normalcy and routine back to students affected by the tornadoes in December. Accommodations such as extended and temporary bus routes as well as emergency leave for employees have been met the school district.
Dallas Morning News, Loyd Brumfield, January 5, 2016

Reports of hail in the Houston area -- Harris County was under a thunderstorm watch until 11 tonight. While no significant storm related damage is expected, reports of up to golf ball sized hail was reported. A cold front behind the storms could dip low temperatures below freezing, but temperatures will warm up by midweek.
The Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, January 8, 2016

Hail and tornadoes possible late Thursday around Houston -- The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather advisory for Houston Thursday morning. Conditions are favorable for hail and a few tornadoes. Most of the storm activity will be focused offshore.
The Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, January 14, 2016

Images, video of hail across North Texas -- Many WFAA viewers sent in impressive videos of hail in Rockwall to Collin counties. Much of the hail was small and did not do any significant damage, but did leave streets and yards looking snow covered.
WFAA, Staff Writer, January 21, 2016

Thunderstorms Bring Rain, Hail to North Texas -- The large storm system that will drop large amounts of snow in the Mid-Atlantic brought some of its wrath to North Texas. During the day rain transitioned into thunderstorms that blanketed some part of North Texas with pea sized hail. No damage was done, but the system did leave behind cold temperatures and strong winds.
NBC 5 DFW, Elvira Sakmari, January 21, 2016

Sudden heavy rain, hail pounds South Texas Tuesday -- Heavy showers and thunderstorms moved into the San Antonio area this afternoon. Upper air patterns contributed to a large amount of lift, which created these storms. Photos of accumulating hail were taken.
KENS5, Staff Writer, January 26, 2016

Governor declares state of disaster -- Henderson County was added to the long list of counties Governor Abbott declared as disaster counties. The strong weather in December affected many homes, businesses, and lives. Residents who apply for grants can receive up to $33,00 in aid as well as low-interest disaster loans.
Athens Daily Review, Staff Writer, January 27, 2016


“Unseasonably warm” weather in Central Texas this week -- Temperatures the remainder of this week will be unseasonably warm with daytime highs reaching 10 degrees above normal. A weak cold front will cool surface temperatures down overnight, but as southerly winds return so do the warmer temperatures.
Killeen Daily Herald, Lauren Dodd, January 25, 2016

Warm weekend weather to five way to freezing temperatures by midweek -- January is forecast to end on a warm note. Humidity returns to the area and high temperatures are expected in the upper 70s. Typically Texas warms preceding the arrival of a cold front. A weak cold front is expected Sunday, but a much stronger one will arrive Monday night cooling temperatures into the 20s and 30s for North Texas.
Herald Democrat, William Wadsack, January 29, 2016

Austin Hits Record High 86 Degrees for Jan. 31 -- Austin hit 86 degrees on Sunday, which comes in at 3 degrees warmer than the previous record set in the early 1900s. Austin was not the only Texas city to set records. The National Weather Service reported San Angelo set a record and Weather underground reported Wichita Falls, Childress, and Amarillo did as well.
Tony Cantu, Patch, January 31, 2016

Other Climate Impacts


La Niña’s impact on Texas could be bitterly cold winter followed by hurricane-filled summer -- 2016 could be a significant hurricane season due to El Niño’s sister, La Niña. On average, La Niña creates favorable conditions for about twice as many hurricanes in the Atlantic to the nation’s and Texas’ coast. By late spring, forecasters should have a better outlook into hurricane season to see which relative will dominate the nation’s weather.
The Houston Chronicle, Dylan Baddour, January 4,2016

Texas crop, weather for January 20 -- The Texas State Climatologist said the current El Niño could actually strengthen and bring wetter conditions to Texas through early summer. Summer conditions are hard to forecast this far out, but typically strong El Niño’s are followed by moderate La Niña’s, which tend to produce drier than average conditions during the winter.
AgriLife Today, Robert Burns, January 20, 2016

Wetter Than Normal Conditions Expected for Texas Agriculture -- The current, already strong El Niño could strengthen more due to favorable wind direction according to Texas State Climatologist Dr. Nielsen-Gammon. This means the wet winter is going to more than likely continue for another few months into Spring. The large scale global circulations will determine the conditions for this summer.
KSST Radio, Robert Burns, January 22, 2016


Preliminary Insured Loss Estimate from Texas Tornadoes: $1.2B -- The Insurance Council of Texas’ preliminary report estimates $1.2 billion was lost during the tornado outbreak in December. Over 1,500 homes were either damaged or destroyed as well as a high number of vehicles. Damages from the blizzard in the Texas Panhandle around the same time was not included in this report.
Insurance Journal, Mark Hollmer, January 10, 2016

Economist: Cotton prices not likely to immediately rebound -- A big topic at AgriLife’s Tuesday meeting was decreased global cotton prices. Most agreed weather and El Niño will be the driving force. Even though El Niño brings wetter weather to Texas it dries out India, another large cotton producer. It is possible this will help cotton prices rebound as demand from Texas cotton farmers goes up.
Lubbock Avalanche, Josie  Musico, January 12, 2016

Local housing strong in ‘15 -- Despite a weakening global economy Texas home sales remained ahead of other states in the US. Real Estate saw a dip last year when heavy rains seemed to never end. The housing industry is optimistic rain totals will hold near normal in 2016, but El Niño might say otherwise.
Longview News-Journal, January 23, 2016, Jo Lee Ferguson

Texas Led Nation in Catastrophic Losses in 2015 -- The Insurance Council of Texas reported the state had over three times as many claims and almost three times the total dollar amount of losses than the next three highest ranked states. This was due to the fact 2015 was loaded with severe weather and fires; flood losses were not included.
Insurance Journal, Staff Writer, January 26, 2016


Last weeks are going to define 2015-2016 duck season -- The 2015-2016 duck season looked to be one of the best in the past decades, but only on paper. Above normal rains filled Texas lakes, river, and ponds as well as lakes in Kansas and Missouri. Above normal temperatures in those areas have provided more opportunities for ducks to stop at. Duck hunters are still hopeful January weather will bring birds further south into Texas.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Steve Knight, January 2, 2016

Crawfish season comes early in Southeast Texas -- The weather has had everything to do with crawfishing so far this year. Warmer and wetter than average conditions have caused March sized crawfish to spawn in January. As long as a hard freeze does not make its way into Orange County, crawfish will continue to be plentiful and cheap.
Fox 4 Beaumont, Ashley DeVriend, January 7, 2016

Fisherman, duck hunters need to be ready for bad weather -- Harsher winter storms and severe weather associated with cold fronts do not seem to keep fisherman and hunters out weathering the conditions. Rain and wind along with darkness during pre-dawn hunting make conditions favorable for accidents to happen. Being weather aware and having accessories to help prevent accidents should be in your arsenal of fishing poles and rifles.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Steve Knight, January 9, 2016


Kaufman County seeking FEMA public assistance funds due to weather-related damages, bridge closure -- Emergency management in Kaufman County estimates nearly $13 million in damages was sustained during a series of weather events in December. They have been in contact with FEMA who will conduct a damage assessment to determine if the county qualifies for federal funding.
inForney, Mathew Richards, January 12, 2016

Historic 2015 rainfall created ‘interesting’ year for road repairs -- Road repairs in 2015 caused a major headache for drivers and infrastructure officials. The year started off with snow and ice, historic rains in the spring, a typical, dry summer, and another round of historic rains in fall and early winter. Potholes are hard to permanently fix when drivers do not want road closures and rainy conditions keep coming.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Faith Harper, January 15, 2016


Public Service Board approves wastewater, stormwater rate increases -- El Paso aims to improve flood control in the city and open more parks and ponds. Funding will come from an increase of water rates to residential areas. Overall this project aims to acquire new water resources for the city.
KFOX 14, Jesse Martinez, January 13, 2016

Texas Sets New All-Time Wind Energy Record -- A long burst of wind in the Texas Panhandle from a low pressure system set new records for wind energy in Texas. Wind provided 45 percent of the state’s total electricity needs for about 20 hours. When the wind is blowing, Texas gets almost half of the state;s electricity, but if Texas can increase its wind capacity, storms like these could power the entire state.
Scientific American, Robert Fares, January 14, 2016

Saving Texas’ Water through Smart Energy Choices in 2016 -- With a seemingly new and improved weather cycle in Texas, water planning is something Texas needs to look into. However the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan, which caps carbon emissions from the power sector. This could be one of the most effective water saving plans because burning fossil fuels requires upwards of 300 gallons per megawatt generated. 
EDF, Kate Zerrenner, January 19, 2016

New flood sensors to give Blanco River homes earlier warning -- The USGS hopes to give residents along the Blanco River an earlier warning of high waters. A network of real-time flood gauges along the river will be a first in the area. The new gauges will be able to give residents plenty of time to plan accordingly to precautions.
KEYE, Fred Cantu, January 19, 2016

New Radar System Helped Dallas Area in Christmas Tornado Outbreak -- About a month after the deadly tornado outbreak hit the Dallas area, meteorologists are looking at radar data. A new network of radars known as the CASA radar system collected data during the outbreak that scientists are now able to analyze. It is difficult to say whether the new radars saved lives, but the finer resolution gave emergency officials almost exact locations of where damage occurred and rescue operations were needed.
UMass Amherst, Janet Lathrop, January 25, 2016

Climate Change

Texas loses bid to block Obama’s Clean Power Plan -- A legal challenge is now upon Texas as a federal appeals court denied Texas and other states to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Texas believe the new plan could push electricity costs too high and threaten reliability of the grid. The federal courts have set June 2 as the date for oral arguments to take place over the issue.
KGBT, Jim Malewitz, January 23, 2016


Snowshoer rescued in Davis County -- A young Texan exploring Utah’s Fernwood Recreation Site fell over 100 feet into the bottom of a ravine. Unable to escape he phoned his family in Texas who then notified Utah Search and Rescue. The man was airlifted to safety with no serious injuries reported.
KUTV, James Williams, January 3, 2016

Texas Tech Storm Damage Forces Sports Cancellations -- The late December blizzard that caused The Texas Tech Athletic Center to collapse is now, in turn, causing track meet cancellations. Five track meets have been cancelled including the Lone Star Conference Championships.
NBC DFW, Staff Writer, January 6, 2016

Weed challenges due to rain across Southwest deliver management reminders -- The wet weather in 2015 is now contributing to better weed management for the 2016 planting season. South Texas farmers had acres and acres of high resistance, even to chemicals. Farmers learned to not delay weed chemical spraying and to start weed free and stay weed free throughout the growing season.
Southwest Farm Press, Haley Nabors, January 13, 2016

Key things you should know from the SkyWarn weather-spotter conference -- Some of the takeaways from the National Weather Service SkyWarn conference were to be weather aware and to heed warnings given by officials. Do not underestimate the power of water and the prettier a storm looks the stronger it probably is.
The Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, January 16, 2016

Skies should clear Monday in time for MLK celebrations -- The National Weather Service is forecasting morning fog followed by temperatures in the upper 50s for MLK Day. MLK Parade goers will be presented with a beautiful backdrop Monday and the rest of the week. Clouds will return later in the week and into the weekend.
The Austin American-Statesman, Philip Jankowski, January 17, 2016

East Texas Pasture Management Program set Feb. 12 at Overton -- Weeds are always a concern whether on farms or local gardens. The mild winter in East Texas is pointing to a higher amount of spring weeds according to Texas A&M AgriLife Services. That is why they are hosting an annual Pasture Management Program on February 12 in Overton in East Texas.
AgriLife Today, Robert Burns, January 21, 2016

Cole crops grow well in Texas gardens if planted at the right time -- Crops including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts can be grown well during the winter if planted at the right time. These crops do best in full sunlight with sandy loam soils and lots of organic matter. For the Tyler area, suggested planting dates are between the start of February into early March.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Chad Gulley, January 24, 2016

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