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Burn Bans/Fire


High wind, fire weather watch issued for Wednesday--
A High Wind Watch and a Fire Weather Watch were issued by the Midland regional office of the National Weather Service on Tuesday ahead of an anticipated day of high winds and potential fire danger. Sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph are anticipated to blow through West Texas on Wednesday after a powerful upper level system tracks through the state. The Fire Weather Watch was issued in response to low humidity levels near 15 to 20 percent on Wednesday, which would allow for wildfires to burn without much atmospheric dampening.
Seminole Sentinel, Staff Writer, January 9, 2018

Wildland fire risk is above normal in central, southern Plains--
Kansas State University scientists are predicting a heightened risk of wildland fire through April for the central and southern Plains. The risk has been increased due to the dry conditions that have persisted over the past few months. Though Texas is included in the findings of the KSU panel, some of the higher risks of wildfires are in the Kansas Plains.
High Plains/ Midwest Ag Journal, Kathy Gehl, January 20, 2018

Red Flag Warning for East and South-central Texas Panhandle--
A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Amarillo region on Sunday. Winds will be from the north at 25 to 35 mph with gusts in excess of 50 mph. These strong winds paired with low relative humidity will increase the risk of critical fire conditions. Officials are urging residents to not complete any outdoor burning as fires can quickly spread due to the high winds.
My High Plains, Audrey Roberson, January 21, 2018

Wildfires Near Fort Worth, Texas, Force Evacuations, Shut Down Highways--
Wildfires in the DFW area forced residents to evacuate their homes on Monday. The fires were fanned by strong winds and approached nearby homes. Over 1,000 acres of land was burned in the Willow Park area. When flames nearly reached Interstate 20, some residents in Parker County were placed under mandatory evacuation with no injuries reported.
The Weather Channels, Sean Breslins, January 22, 2018

Panhandle Wildfire Could Be Just the Beginning of a Dangerous Season--
Two wildfires broke out Monday in Parker County, west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, burning 2000 acres of land and forced the closure of two interstate highways in the area. Many homes and schools were evacuated due to the close proximity of the fires. Dry and windy conditions brought about by La Nina are likely to continue, leading to grass with low moisture levels that can become fuel for wildfires. To prevent wildfires in areas such as the Panhandle, property owners should graze often to reduce the amount of grass available for fuel. Homeowners should also clear up to 30 feet of space around your home, keep the yard mowed, and trim trees six to nine feet above the ground.
Texas Standard, Michael Marks, January 23, 2018

High fire danger for Austin area Monday--
Low relative humidity and extremely dry conditions have lead to an increase in the fire danger threat for Central Texas. Nearly all of the counties in Central Texas have been designated as in a burn ban. One of the first fires reported was one that developed along SH 130 in Manor. This fire burned about 20 acres. The fire danger threat is expected to increase to critical on Tuesday according to the National Weather Service.
KXAN, Calily Bien, January 29, 2018

Wildfire threat rises in Central Texas--
The Texas A&M Forest Service is reporting that wildfire threats are currently high in most of Central Texas. There is only a slight chance of rain on Saturday, but it is not expected to alleviate the risks. A critical period for wildfire development will be on Wednesday as an abundant supply of fire fuels and strong winds will be present in many area counties.
KWTX, Staff Writer, January 30, 2018

Winds, drought spur East Texas fire warnings--
East Texas residents are facing wildfire danger as high winds and increasingly dry conditions have increased fire risks. Officials in Panola County have issued an emergency burn ban for extra precaution, being the only county to do so. Though the region has observed some rain, a Gregg County spokesman has warned that the high wind and dry vegetation could make the fire very hazardous.
Longview News-Journal, Meredith Shamburger and Megan Hix, January 31, 2018


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification



Drought returns to Texas just months after Hurricane Harvey floods state--
Drought in the Panhandle has put stress on farmers in the region. The Panhandle hasn’t received measurable rainfall in more than 100 days, according to the National Weather Service. Some farmers can’t grow corn because of the dry conditions. More than 40 percent of Texas is now in moderate to severe drought. This is compared to the end of August after Harvey moved through the state when drought was only four percent.
The Texas Tribune, Paul Cobler, January 23, 2018

Ground zero: Texas Panhandle is in the worst drought since the 1950s--
According to the National Weather Service, some areas of the Texas Panhandle have received measurable rain amounts in over 3 months. Farming is one of the biggest concerns for residents in the region. A farmer in Amarillo has said that the current dry conditions have restricted him from growing corn. Some Panhandle residents say that drought conditions now are the worst they have experienced since the 50s, when a significant drought plagued the region for nearly 3 years.
The Texas Tribune, Paul Cobler, January 24, 2018

Possibility of new drought raises concerns over water preservation in West Texas
Mayors from several West Texas cities met on Wednesday to discuss important issues in the region. The agenda included, transportation, infrastructure, and drought prevention. As a means of combating devastating effects of severe drought, the mayors discussed water preservation. If the Panhandle drought creeps into the West, the mayors hope that utilities that allow for underground storage of water can be implemented into their cities.
News West 9, Phoenix O’Connor, January 31, 2018


How the cold weather is affecting a Texas Longhorn in the Panhandle--
Extremely cold temperatures provide uncomfortable conditions for people and animals alike. T-Bone, a Texas Longhorn that live in Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo was seen attempting to take a drink from a partially-frozen water tank. T-Bone and other animals hopefully won’t have to wait much longer for drinking water ponds to thaw as temperatures in north Texas are expected to climb into the 50s as the week progresses.
KXAN, Katie Winkle, January 4, 2018

Low temperatures will help some producers, cause minimal damage for others--
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is expecting the cold temperatures experienced in Texas in recent days to not negatively impact crops. According to the State Climatologist, January will remain relatively cool and dry. Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and cabbage have sustained minimal damage. Fruit growers may benefit from the cold temperatures as there has been more ideal chilling hours.
Agrilife Today, Adam Russell, January 6, 2018

Cedar pollen peaks Monday; dry, windy weather may only make it worse--
Cedar pollen in Austin is in full swing as concentrations of Ashe juniper pollen reached a peak on Monday. According to Austin-based Allergy and Asthma Associates, the cedar pollen count hit 10,441 grains per cubic meter, which is considered “very high” by the allergists’ group. The highest cedar pollen count before Monday was just 394 grains on December 27th.
Austin American-Statesman, Rob Villalpando, January 8, 2018

Goldfinches can portend hard freeze--
American goldfinches migrate in the winter from breeding grounds in the northern US and southern Canada to southern US states, including the Houston area, to find seeds that are scarce in the icy northern climates. However, prolonged freezing weather in our area can diminish the local wild seed crop, causing trouble for the local finch population. The Goldfinches then rely on backyard bird feeders and other plants such as sunflowers for food in the cold conditions.
Houston Chronicle, Gary Clark, January 12, 2018

Cold weather shouldn’t hurt Texas crops--
Experts with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are reporting that cold temperatures this past growing season should not negatively impact Texas crops, while also benefiting some others. According to the Texas State Climatologist, January is the coldest month on average for Texas, though this year has started as one of the coldest in almost 20 years. The cold temperatures will also not have a major impact on insects in North Texas, as many have adapted to cold winters.
Abilene Reporter-News, Adam Russell, January 21, 2018

Hurricane relief snags on ‘cotton fix’ pushed by Texas farmers--
The Texas Legislature is currently debating the governmental support of the Texas cash crop cotton as fiscal budgets are nearing the due date. A bill passed in the House for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief includes a policy that will put the cotton crop back into a government-backed Price Loss Coverage program.
Houston Chronicle, Kevin Diaz, January 26, 2018

Significant Weather


KSAT weather: Gray, dreary Sunday; sunny Monday expected--
South Texas will be mostly covered with cloudy skies on Sunday with minimal chances of rain, which will be drizzle and sprinkles. The best chances of rain will be some isolated areas east of San Antonio during the night as the cold front passes. Residents can expect to see cooler temperatures beginning Thursday as the cold front passes through the region.
KSAT, Cole Vaughn, January 6, 2018

Rain returns to North Texas today--
Most of the day on Sunday will be cloudy with some small chances of drizzle throughout in North Texas. Rain chances will steadily increase towards the evening hours. Residents can expect to pull out umbrellas at around 4 pm. Temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s with some slight chances of isolated thunderstorms that can develop.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts, January 7, 2018

Sleet falling west of Fort Worth could move into the area for rush hour--
Tarrant County saw sleet during rush hour, which led to a messy commute home for some people. Since temperatures remain above freezing, however, the sleet did not stick to the ground.  The combination of snow or sleet with strong winds in the area could affect visibility. Most areas will see less than an inch, but isolated areas north of DFW could see up to two inches. The precipitation will move out by 10 pm tonight.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, January 11, 2018

It snowed in Denton Thursday--
Snow flurries came down in Denton for about ten minutes on Sunday. The City of Denton prepared for ice on roads days ago, and TxDOT spread a brine solution that keeps ice from sticking. Denton had its five san trucks on standby in case ice started to form on the roads. The city also had two snow plows in case ice formed.
KTVT, MaryAnn Martinez, January 11, 2018

Threat of snow/ice on Tuesday in Central Texas--
The third major winter storm event of the season is possible on Tuesday. The latest model runs show the potential for precipitation to linger longer into Tuesday, possible affecting both the morning and evening commute. Tuesday afternoon will be well below freezing, and high temperatures in most areas of Central Texas will not make it above freezing Tuesday afternoon. The National Weather Service forecasts sleet and freezing rain for most of Central Texas, with the highest probability of snow in the Hill Country.
KXAN, Natalie Ferrari, January 12, 2018

Weather update: Snow in Austin possible Tuesday morning, forecasters say--
There is a chance of snow during morning rush hour in Austin on Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are forecast to drop overnight Monday into Tuesday, and a slight chance of sleet and freezing rain is possible Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning will be near freezing.
Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks and Katie Hall, January 12, 2018

Snow on the way to East Texas, time to prepare your home--
Although snow does not fall everyday in East Texas, staying ahead of it can help keep people safe and save money. To insulate windows in a hurry, sheets, blankets, or towels can be put over windows to trap any leaks. Propane and other combustibles should not be used inside homes unless they are properly vented. Electric heaters with automatic shut offs are recommended as the safest heating method. Furnace filters should be changed every month to protect the furnace from damage and improve heat efficiency. Programmable thermostats can be lowered during the day when no one is home and even lower at night while you are sleeping to save money.
KYTX, Kenley Hargett, January 13, 2018

School districts keeping their eyes on wintry weather--
School districts in the Brazos Valley and southeast Texas are watching the weather to decide on school closures. The Huntsville school district is the first to announce school closures before the winter weather begins. Other districts in the Houston area are holding meeting in the afternoon to make final decisions. For most districts, the final decision will be made after an assessment of road conditions.
KTRK, Christine Dobbyn, January 15, 2018

North Texans Cleanings Up After Heavy Rain, High Winds & Hail--
Weather in North Texas has evolved from freezing weather to severe weather over the weekend. Hail damage and winds were some of the major threats from the severe systems. Some residents at a Mesquite apartment complex reported that a carport had collapsed, though none of the vehicles were significantly damaged. In Winnsboro, strong winds took down trees and further damaged some apartment complexes and homes.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, January 22, 2018

Showers to start the weekend--
North Texas residents will see rain chances creep into the forecast over the weekend as fast moving weather systems pass through the area. The best chances for rain will overnight on Friday and into early Saturday morning. Temperatures will begin to climb into the mid to upper 60s this week before a cold front passes through on Friday.
KXAS, Staff Writer, January 25, 2018

Humidity to return, week ends with rain and fog--
Gray skies will return to the Central Texas area towards the end of this weekend. By the weekend, a cold front from the Pacific will arrive. There is a slight chance of rain for the region on Saturday with a possibility on Sunday. Some of the isolated rain events may lead to thunderstorm development.
Spectrum News, Staff Writer, January 25, 2018

Drizzle and fog with areas of light rain on Saturday--
Weather conditions on Saturday will be mostly dreary as clouds and rain dominate the forecast. Once the cold front passes, a line of showers is expected to develop along with more breezy winds. Temperatures will remain in the mid 60s for most of the day with cooler temperatures during the night.
KSAT, Cole Vaughn, January 26, 2018

Heavy rain hits Corpus Christi that at one point closed the Harbor Bridge--
The Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi closed down Saturday due to heavy rains and flooding. According to the National Weather Service Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi International Airport received just over a half-inch of rain and downtown Corpus Christi received more than three inches of rain over the course of the day. A flood advisory was put in place for southeastern Nueces County and San Patricio County around 3 p.m. as radar indicated heavy rain and thunderstorms approaching the area.
Caller Times, Quinton Martinez and Meagan Falcon, January 27, 2018

Warm Weather

Warmer weather to make triumphant return to Austin--
South-central Texas can expect to see temperatures return to normal wintertime values this weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts the bitter cold conditions to leave the area, allowing for highs to reach the low 60s with moderate winds. By Sunday, there will be slight rain chances and a high into the 70s.
Austin American-Statesman, Staff Writer, January 6, 2018

Warm weather to preface snow chances Tuesday in Killeen--
Monday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be the mildest day in a string of cold and icy days this week. Monday will be cloudy with a high in the upper 50s before the low temperature drops to near 25 degrees. There is a chance of snow and sleet Tuesday before noon according to the National Weather Service, which will mark the third time in the past two months Central Texas has seen chances of wintry precipitation. If it does snow Tuesday, only 0.2 inches of accumulation is expected. The high temperature Tuesday will be in the low thirties with a low around 21 degrees.
Killeen Daily Herald, Josh Sullivan, January 13, 2018

Hello warm temps, goodbye winter weather (for now)--
It’ll be less than a week since snow, ice, and single-digit temperatures were dominating forecasts to sunny skies and 70s make their way into North Texas. The coming weekend will be breezy and warm, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Showers and some severe weather are possible for the region beginning Sunday.
WFAA, Jesse Hawila, January 19, 2018

Warmer weather conditions expected for the weekend--
Weather conditions were relatively cool to begin the work week. As the weekend develops, warmer temperatures are expected to be established with high in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s. These spring-like conditions will continue into the following weekdays before a return of cooler weather.
KGNS, Jessica Fernandez, January 19, 2018

KLBK Saturday PM weather update--
A “High Wind Watch” has been issued for the majority of the South Plains, Rolling Plains, and New Mexico for Sunday afternoon by the National Weather Service. The Lubbock metro area almost reached a record high on Saturday by reaching 77 degrees, when the record is 78 in 1986. Other regions of West Texas observed highs in the upper 70s to 80s. Some clouds will return to the area, along with low temperatures in the upper 30s.
KLBK, Chris Whited, January 20, 2018

2017 Was Texas’ Second-Warmest Year on Record--
Analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describe that 2017 was the second-warmest year for Texas, just behind 2012. The average temperature for the state as nearly 3 degrees higher than the historical average this year. According to the Texas climatologist, a rise in average temperatures will exacerbate extreme weather events.
The Texas Observer, Naveena Sadasivam, January 24, 2018

Cool Weather

Cold Weather Damaging Texas Homes--
Freezing temperatures currently throughout Texas have the ability to damage many aspects of homes, such bursting pipes. Officials at home insurance companies have suggested that residents take steps to combat damage to homes in these weather conditions. Insulating pipes that run along exterior walls using heat tape, opening cabinets to allow heat passage, and allowing for water to trickle from the faucet are some tips suggested. Insurance claims for broken pipes typically run about $5,000.
KTSA, Staff Writer, January 2, 2018

Austin Week Ahead Weather: Hard Freeze Warning--
The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning for Austin and other south-central Texas areas for the start of the year. The warning should remind residents that plants, pipes, pets, and people are vulnerable to the frigid temperatures in the following days. The warning will be in effect until noon on Wednesday January 3 as temperatures slowly climb into the high 40s and lower 50s. Skies are expected to be relatively clear with some intermittent clouds.
East Austin Patch, Geogg Dempsey, January 2, 2018

2 Homeless Men Found Dead in Houston Amid Freezing Weather--
According to Houston police officials, two homeless men were found dead after the recent passage of an arctic cold front. The officials are still investigating if the frigid temperatures were the cause of the deaths. Spokespersons for the police department have stated that officers are working to get homeless people into shelters as temperatures dip extremely low. As temperatures climb into the upper 40s, a hard freeze warning issued by the National Weather Service has expired.
Associated Press, Staff Writer, January 3, 2018

Weather Driving Rodents Into North Texas Homes--
The extremely cold temperatures in Texas is a double-edged sword for those who don’t want to come into contact with pesky critters. Frigid conditions tend to kill off the most of the insect population, but lead rodents into the homes of residents. A pest control website has ranked the DFW as the 10th worst rodent issue region in the country. The website suggests that homeowners should attempt to seal off all openings in or around the home during these cold temperatures.
KXAS, Larry Collins, January 4, 2018

Texas inmates didn’t deserve a cold shoulder this weekend--
An unknown number of Texas prison inmates spent the last weekend in brutally cold conditions. Some large Texas facilities had inadequate heating to efficiently warm all inmates. Member of humane groups that attempt to support proper treatment of prison inmates are hoping to bring forth measures to improve winter facility conditions in conjunction with a lawsuit that is working towards improving summer facility conditions.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Staff Writer, January 5, 2018

‘Tis the season of dry skin, static electricity--
Dry skin can be a problem during the dry winter months. The humidity is much lower this time of year because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. North winds are typical in the winter, so cold, dry air is often blown in to North Texas from the north. However, on warm, spring days, southerly winds bring up the humidity by blowing moist air in from the Gulf. Plants are also dormant in the winter, so vegetation does not release as much moisture into the atmosphere during the winter.
KXAS, Grant Johnston, January 8, 2018

Cold front Thursday to end stretch of mild weather in Central Texas--
A cold front will move through Austin Thursday afternoon, bringing the afternoon high of 65 degrees down to a low of 35 degrees in the evening. Strong gusty winds as high as 30 mph will make the low temperatures feel even chillier. Dallas, however, will see a slight chance for snow and sleet in the afternoon as temperatures drop to 37 degrees. Central Texas will see temperatures anywhere between to 30s and 50s, with a chance for fog in the mornings throughout the week
Austin American-Statesman, Robert Villalpando, January 10, 2018

Snow line dissipates over D/FW airport, cold to stick around through weekend--
A thin band of snow and sleet moved into North Texas Thursday but dissipated by the time it reached Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Thursday’s cold front brought temperatures into the 30s and wind chills could drop into the teens overnight. The weekend will continue the cold trend, and early next week my see a chance of wintry precipitation.
KXAS, Staff Writer, January 10, 2018

KSAT weather: Windy Thursday; cooler air expected this weekend--
A cold front Thursday will bring in dry air from the north, which will create beautiful weather over the weekend in San Antonio. Temperatures on Thursday will start in the 50s and warm up into the mid 60s by the afternoon. The cold front will move through after lunchtime, which will bring low temperatures into the mid 30s Thursday night. Gusty winds up to 35 to 40 mph. Bexar County officials urge residents not to burn outdoors on Thursday as the winds could easily carry the flames elsewhere and cause wildfires.
KSAT, Cole Vaughn, January 10, 2018

Freezing temperatures to hit San Antonio this weekend, NWS says--
San Antonio could see freezing temperatures this weekend after a cold front moves into Bexar County Sunday. Downtown San Antonio will see temperatures near 30 degrees and Boerne will drop near 25 degrees. CPS Energy reminded its customers to take precautions against strong winds as the cold front blows in, and to keep children and pets away from downed power lines. Precipitation is possible on Monday and Tuesday.
San Antonio Express-News, Kelsey Bradshaw, January 11, 2018

Houston area under Hard Freeze Warning--
Roads remain icy Wednesday morning as temperatures struggle to climb out of the low 20s. The Houston area will not see temperatures above freezing until Monday. Hard freeze conditions are widespread throughout the city and wind chills make the temperature feel like the teens and single digits. The Hard Freeze Warning and the Wind Chill Advisory will remain until 10 a.m. Drivers are advised to stay off roads, if possible due to the icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.
KPRC, Justin Stapleton, January 14, 2018

Snow and sleet headed to North Texas? What forecasters say about the next few days--
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a special weather statement Sunday, forecasting for wintry precipitation Monday night through Tuesday. Travel will likely become hazardous due to icy conditions, and a winter weather advisory will start at six p.m. Monday and continue through 12 p.m. Tuesday. As the front passes through Fort Worth Monday afternoon, commuters will see some rain and gusty north winds up to 30 mph. Freezing rain and sleet are expected late Monday, and the Fort Worth area should see less than an inch of snow by Tuesday morning.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., January 14, 2018

Wintry weather heading to North Texas--
Most of Northeast Texas has been issued Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches through Monday night and Tuesday morning. The forecast does not call for a large amount of accumulation, but measurable accumulations of ice, sleet, and snow can cause major problems. School delays, and business and road closures are expected to be announced as the day progresses.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts and Jesse Hawila, January 15, 2018

The latest: Houston area braces for ice storm, potentially dangerous conditions--
Weather conditions in the next 24 hours could become dangerous enough to force schools and business to close. There is expected to be a mix of ice and snow in southeast through Tuesday night. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory as the arctic cold front makes its way through the Houston region.
The Houston Chronicle, Megan Flynn and Robert Downen, January 15, 2018

Thousands of students in Central Texas get day off in frigid weather--
City officials in Houston have advised crew to pre-treat roads as freezing rain and snow are expected in the next 24 hours. Schools within the south-central and southeastern regions of the state closed for Tuesday after weather conditions made traveling hazardous. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the region, with frigid temperatures and gale-force winds along the Texas coast.  
KWTX, Staff Writer, January 16, 2018

North Texas feels coldest morning in 7 years, but warmer temps on the way!--
Residents in North Texas woke up to the coldest temperatures felt in the last 7 years. Wednesday morning temperatures were below 20 degrees, forcing the National Weather Service to issue a Hard Freeze Warning for the majority of North Texas. Warming temperatures are expected to return beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend and workweek.
WFAA, Colleen Coyle, January 17, 2018

Galveston declares water emergency, asks residents to conserve water--
Officials in the City of Galveston have recently declared a Water Emergency. The officials are asking residents to conserve water usage in the coming days, due to the supply of water dropping by 40 percent since Tuesday after the bursting of freezing pipes. The utility department received more than 5,000 busted pipe calls. The freezing conditions are the first in memory since the 80s, according to the Galveston City Marshal. It could be another three to four days until repairs are made completely for residents, so conservation of water is necessary.
KHOU, Jason Miles, Michelle Choi, and Brett Buffington, January 19, 2018

Severe Weather

NWS to hold storm spotter training at Tarleton--
The National Weather Service will be helping residents become ready for the next severe weather event by hosting a free SKYWARN storm spotter training session on Thursday, January 18, at Tarleton State University. This year’s sessions will focus on thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with the storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Session attendees will look back at the destructive Canton county tornado to understand preparedness.
Stephenville Empire-Tribune, Autumn Owens, January 7, 2018

National Weather Service offers SKYWARN training in Round Rock--
The National Weather Service is offering a free SKYWARN severe weather training in Round Rock. This course is designed to provide citizens, first responders, emergency management, amateur radio operators, and volunteer organizations the opportunity to learn about severe weather preparedness and safety. Participants will also learn procedures for reporting severe weather to the local Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service Office.
City of Round Rock, Staff Writer, January 9, 2018

Watch: West Texans say ‘powerful sandstorm’ captured in viral video ‘no big deal’--
A sandstorm in West Texas surprised oil workers in the field as strong winds picked up and blew dust and sand around, impeding visibility and creating harsh work conditions for the workers. Many people remarked on the resilience of the oil workers who continued to work in the windy weather.
KSAT, Mariah Medina, January 13, 2018

Spring temps bring storm chances back to North Texas--
Residents in North Texas will get another example of the true bipolar nature of Texas weather during the weekend. Just a couple of days ago, frigid temperatures, ice, and snow, were dominating the forecast. Now, it can be expected that 70s on Saturday and Sunday will dominate. A cold front will be moving through North Texas mid-afternoon on Sunday. Some severe weather can be expected in the evening just ahead of the front.
WFAA, Kyle Roberts, January 21, 2018

Severe weather threat moves through North Texas; parts hit with hail--
Some portions of North Texas saw hail as severe storms passed through the region. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Tarrant County during the afternoon as the threat of hail increased. A Tornado Watch remained in effect for the eastern part of North Texas during the late evening on Sunday. Tornado Warnings were also issued for eastern parts of North Texas during the evening.
KVTV, Staff Writer, January 21, 2018

Two tornadoes touch down in Bowie County Sunday night--
Officials at the National Weather Service have completed damage surveying in Bowie County, Texas. The surveys have determined that two tornadoes passed through the county in Sunday night. An EF-2 tornado was reported at 9:30 pm in Dekalb, Texas with maximum winds of 125 mph. This storm was the strongest of the evening with a maximum width of 560 yards across.
KSLA, Jeff Castle, January 22, 2018

Other Climate Impacts


After First Amendment challenge, FEMA may pay Texas churches to rebuild after Harvey--
Three Texas religious institutions have joined to challenge FEMA policies to receive funds for post-Harvey rebuilding. The policy change was officially announced on January 2, which will permit funds to be provided to religious groups for certain recovery efforts. Republican lawmakers in Texas and throughout the country are applauding the change as support from religious groups made great efforts in supporting non-secular groups.
The Texas Tribune, Edgar Walters, January 3, 2018

Texas grid meets the challenge of a long winter cold spell--
According to the National Weather Service, Texas has just ended its longest cold spell in six years. In the Austin area, it was notable that there were no reports of lights going out due to the weather conditions. Though temperatures did not get as cold this week as they were the last, the demand for electricity has increased, breaking a record of 62,885 on January 3. It is not expected that Texas will continue to break these types of records for the rest of the season.
KUT, Mose Buchele, January 5, 2018

A massive seawall for Southeast Texas could save money. But so far, there’s none to spend--
Researchers at Texas A&M University have found that if the Texas government invests in a 17-foot barrier along the Galveston coast, over $31 billion in lost homes and other structures from storm surge can be avoided. The researchers believe the $12 billion investment would be worth protecting the livelihoods of residents from a devastating direct hit. The General Land Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer will be publishing a draft study in the summer of 2018.
Houston Chronicle, Susan Carroll and Mike Ward, January 5, 2018

Hurricane Harvey survivors feel grief, distress months later--
Many people in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey require more help than just rebuilding their homes. Private and government-funded mental health counseling are being offered for free across the state to help people overcome emotional grief. Experts say that emotional distress caused by such storms can last for a year or more. Survivors can feel grief from the loss of property and life of stability.
KSAT, Jamie Stengle, January 7, 2018

Icy Texas weather leads to new winter record for state power usage--
The extremely low temperatures in Texas Wednesday morning lead the state to breaking a new record for power usage. Officials at CPS Energy in San Antonio warned customers that 15-minute outages may have had to be imposed on residents to balance the demand for energy during the coldest parts of Wednesday. During the coldest point on Wednesday, the state was using 65,731 megawatts of power, which is more than 4 percent of the previous winter record.
The Texas Tribune, Matthew Watkins, January 17, 2018

From Hurricane Harvey to ice storms: Photo shows polarizing weather of East Texas--
East Texans have spent the past weekend considering how extremely different the weather has been over the past four months. Freezing weather and ice covered roads have made traveling for residents very difficult in recent days. Thursday will be another chilly day for Houston, according to the National Weather Service. Highs are expected to only reach the lower 40s.
The Houston Chronicle, William Axford, January 18, 2018

Texas governor approves $38.6 million for post-Harvey housing programs--
The Texas legislature, with approval from Texas governor Greg Abbott, have passed a request from the Texas General Land Office for $38 million in disaster-aid from Hurricane Harvey. Aid funds will be transferred from the Department of Criminal Justice to the Land Office. An assurance from the legislature has been ensured before the 2019 Fiscal Year.
KFDM, Staff Writer, January 24, 2018

NHC: Harvey caused $125 billion in damage; 68 deaths in Texas--
An official report has just been released by the National Hurricane Center extensively describing the impacts of Hurricane Harvey on Teas and the rest of the United States. The report details that catastrophic flooding from the event made it the second-most costly hurricane in U.S. history. Estimates from NOAA damage surveys report that the storm cost the U.S. $125 billion.  
KHOU, Staff Writer, January 25, 2018

Texas to change Harvey grant spending amid criticism from Harris County--
After criticism from Harris County officials over designated spending of Hurricane Harvey relief funds, the Texas General Land Office said that it would re-determine its plans for spending. Originally, the Land Office was going to take money from damaged home buyouts to support other programs. $46 million was allocated to Harris County by the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development to buy out nearly 250 homes.
Houston Chronicle, Mihir Zaveri, January 31, 2018


Icy conditions hit Central Texas roads--
The icy conditions in Central Texas during the New Year have slowed traffic in several locations. Numerous accidents have been reported in the region, while Texas Department of Transportations is urging drivers to travel with extra precaution in these conditions. Overpasses are noted with particularity as these structures can lead to dangerous accidents. Freezing drizzle will be the main cause of the slippery conditions provided by frigid arctic air that stretches from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast.
Temple Daily Telegram, Jerry Prickett, January 1, 2018

Texas police officer almost hit by driver after icy close call--
Cold temperatures and icy precipitation have made for slick condition on roads throughout Texas. A Houston-area police officer was nearly struck by a sliding car while attempting to respond to a crash on Highway 183. The Hurst Police Department has posted the video of the accident in an attempt to discourage people from traveling during these types of conditions.
Houston Chronicle, Julie Takahashi, January 2, 2018

TxDOT treating Central Texas roads before wintry weather arrives--
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation are currently treating roads and highways in Central Texas before icy weather makes traveling difficult. I-35 has mostly been treated, while Highway 183 and Mopac are in the process of being treating as of Sunday night. The Department of Transportation is urging motorists to take heed when driving along roads covered with ice as Austin-Travis County EMS responded to 37 vehicle accidents in just four hours when some roads iced a couple weeks prior.
KVUE, Rebeca Trejo, January 14, 2018

Icy conditions shut down several roads Tuesday--
Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings have been issued for the entirety of south-central Texas and the Brazos Valley through Tuesday by the National Weather Service. Numerous schools, offices, and roads are expected to be closed following these advisories. Freezing rain and sleet increased in the Austin area in the early morning. Around 5 am on Tuesday, there was a 50-degree temperatures difference between Amarillo and Brownsville.
KVUE, Nathan Gogo, January 16, 2018

Airlines issue travel advisories, waivers in wake of Texas winter storm--
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport has cancelled nearly 800 scheduled flights Tuesday as a winter storm affected air travel through Texas. For passengers who were forced to remain at the airport, they were provided cots, food, and toiletries. Other flights were also delayed by more than 15 minutes. Southwest Airlines, Delta, United, and American Airlines are offering travel waivers for flights.
KTRK, Staff Writer, January 16, 2018

Icy conditions create gridlock on Southwest Freeway--
Houston residents experienced rain, sleet, snow, and hazardous driving conditions on Tuesday, leading to cancelled school days and the closure of city services. The temperatures felt on Tuesday were the coldest seen in decades for the metropolitan area. Some ice patches remained on overpass surface, leading police officers to close many entrances. Some drivers attempted to drive the wrong way down the Chimney Rock exit ramp to escape the Highway 59 traffic.
KTRK, Staff Writer, January 17, 2018

TxDOT phases in icy road pretreatment--
The Texas Department of Transportation has been expanding its capacity of pretreating roads before ice and snow storms across the state. This month’s winter weather marked the second time brine was used in the Longview area to keep major roads and highways clear for drivers. The ability to pretreat roads for ice and snow means investing in storage tanks and brine makers. Although brine may not work in every situation, TxDOT is making the switch statewide because of the success it’s had with the program.
Longview News-Journal, Jo Lee Ferguson, January 29, 2018


Texas dad gets new piano after Hurricane Harvey--
A Friendswood, Texas father has successfully rebuilt his home with the help of a Grammy-nominated singer and the piano manufacturer Yamaha, nearly four months after posting a video on social media detailing the destruction of his home from Hurricane Harvey. The Friendswood resident is one of nearly 350 homes that was destroyed during the storm. Singer Vanessa Carlton contacted Yamaha after seeing the social media post and worked to sponsor a rebuilding of his home along with providing a piano.
WTKR, Staff Writer, January 1, 2018

Nacogdoches County experts explain how freezing temperatures help gardens--
Despite the warning to cover plants in order to protect them, low temperatures over the past few weeks have actually helped gardens by giving them time to hibernate. Certain plants require certain amounts of chilling hours in order for them to produce. This winter, the hard freezes lasted close to 60 hours. Another 30 hours of cold weather could actually help gardens more during hibernation. The cold weather also helps with bug problems.
KTRE, Khyati Patel, January 8, 2018

Round Rock ISD will have a makeup weather day--
After heavy rains during Hurricane Harvey in August and icy road conditions in January, Round Rock ISD students will have to use a bad weather make up day. Due to state laws on the total time required for a school to be in session, May 29 will be used a make up day instead of a teacher work day. This day will also serve as the school district’s last day of school.
KXAN, Kate Winkle, January 18, 2018

Cold weather in Fort Worth means challenges at Stock Show--
Due to the extremely cold conditions in Fort Worth on Sunday, some animals at the Stock Show & Rodeo needed heat lamps, blankets, and warm milk to keep from getting too cold. Temperatures were in the low teens on Sunday which was the coldest in Fort Worth in nearly seven years. Although temperatures were cool enough to close down the carnival, the Llama show remained open.
The Houston Chronicle, Staff Writer, January 18, 2018

Texas Rally for Life Draws Thousands from Across State--
Rainy weather did not stop marchers at the Austin Texas Rally for Life on Saturday. As the marchers made their way to Austin’s Capitol building, the soggy weather cleared up and the sun came out, creating a nice day for outdoor events.
Spectrum News, Chelsey Trahan, January 27, 2018

Movie being made about Hurricane Harvey--
Film producers are working towards creating a movie about Hurricane Harvey. The casting director has said the film will not be a documentary, but a feature film. Filming is set to begin in late February with a shooting period lasting 10 to 14 days. The film is slated for release on the one year anniversary of the Hurricane Harvey.
KHOU, Marcelino Benito, January 30, 2018hjhkgvgh  


Freezing weather forces temporary fishing ban--
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has officially issued a temporary closure of saltwater fishing in the south Texas Valley and other areas along the Gulf Coast. The closure is in effect from 6 am Tuesday, Jan 2 to 10 pm Wednesday, Jan 3 due to freezing weather. The director of the Coastal Fisheries Division reports that there is a high mortality rate of fish when freezing occurs that can deplete the stock for years. In 1989, temperatures in Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees, stunning and killing an estimated 11 million fish.
The Monitor, Diana Eva Maldonado, January 1, 2018

Fisheries not left in cold by dropping temperature--
Marine life in the coastal US face life-threatening effects during strong cold snaps. Most inshore fisheries in Texas evolve in a semi-tropical environment and can observe loss when temperature dip into near-freezing temperatures. Temperatures near Rockport and other Texas bay areas were observed to be in the mid 30s to mid 40s at the start of the new year which forced some fish to deeper waters.
Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, January 3, 2018

Cold-stunned turtles released after state hit with cold weather--
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has released several rescued turtles that were cold-stunned during the recent south Texas freeze. Employees at the Cameron County Game Warden and Coastal Fisheries spent most of the day rescuing cold-stunned sea turtles near Lower Laguna Madre. Out of 2,000 rescued turtles, over 400 were released Sunday at the Padre Island National Seashore.
KXXV, Erika Esquivel, January 4, 2018

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