Skip Nav

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through July 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, June 4, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor, June 25, 2013

Drought Continues Throughout State- According to the U.S. Drought Monitor 87% of the state lies under drought conditions and despite recent rains Cooke County still must be aware of water conservation. Summer is the driest time of the year and in order to avoid water restrictions conservation must be stressed.
The Gainesville Daily Register, Cathy Mounce, June 14, 2013

Latest Drought Update Shows Southeast Texas Getting Drier- As summer cranks up the ever-present drought across the state is quick to do so as well. The latest drought update reveals that drought conditions are creeping back towards the east with the worst part of the drought remaining off towards the Panhandle. Houston and Southeast Texas have fared well recently, but rainfall is too sporadic and limited to prevent the drought from retaking the area.
KPRC News, Eric Braate, June 21, 2013

Water Supply

Schlitterbahn Saving Water During Drought- Now that Texas is in drought, water is the most precious resource. Schlitterbahn waterpark makes sure to conserve water through a complex filtration system that reuses most of the water that comes into the park, saving water and money.
YNN Austin, Chris Cybulski, June 4,2013

City of Greenville Water Supply in Good Shape- Though the North Texas Municipal Water District to the east has issued stage 3 drought restrictions, the water supply for Greenville is doing very well. The reservoirs that feed the city are full or nearly full and no restrictions are expected at this time.
Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Keller, June 5, 2013

West Texas Town Running Low on Water- After their main well ran dry the city of Barnhart began to use the old well for its municipal water supply. The old well cannot keep up with demand, however, and low water pressure or no water at all is affecting many homes and businesses. To get new water the city has applied for a permit to drill a new well, and it is expected to be hurried through as the situation is so dire.
KWES News, Devon Sanchez, June 7, 2013

As Temperatures Rise, Rio Grande Irrigation Season Starts Today- A record low amount of water has been released for irrigation along the Rio Grande River with only 6 inches per acre expected for farmers. This is due to the extreme drought taking place across the region, leaving Elephant Butte Reservoir at only 10% capacity. The heat and the drought have made for a difficult season for farmers on both sides of the border.
The El Paso Times, Diana Washington Valdez, June 7, 2013

Summer Temps Heat Up Talk About Conservation and Water Wasting- During the summer temperatures rise and so does water usage. In fact, the majority of the water used during the summer months in Amarillo goes to lawn watering and irrigation, so keeping tabs on water usage is important to better serve the community for future generations. KFDA News will be running a story each week about somewhere based upon viewer reports that is wasting water.
KFDA News, June 13, 2013

Oak Ridge North Passes Comprehensive Plan, Water Restrictions- With a 4-1 city council vote, a new water contingency plan was passed for the city of Oak Ridge North. The plan will provide funds for a new more powerful well pump motor, allow for purchase of water from Montgomery if necessary, and declare stage 1 water restrictions beginning July 1. 
The Villager, Jonathan Garris, June 24, 2013

Hickory Aquifer No Longer a Dream- The five-year pipeline project connecting wells in McCollough County to provide 6 million gallons of water per day to San Angelo is nearly finished. The pipeline is part of a $150 million project to provide long-term water supplies to San Angelo and includes between 5 and 7 new wells as well as a water treatment facility.
The San Angelo Standard Times, Monique Ching, June 24, 2013

Eastland Water Restrictions Take Effect Thursday- Lake Leon has dropped below the seven feet below capacity mark triggering stage 1 water restrictions for Eastland. The mayor says that these precautions have to be taken to ensure water supply for the future in the drought.
KTAB News, June 27, 2013


AFD Canvasses for Wildfire Safety- The Austin Fire Department began its tour of areas of high risk for wildfires educating homeowners about wildfire preventative tips. The team was made up of members of the Austin Fire Department and The Texas A&M Forest Service.
KXAN News, John Bumgardner, June 8, 2013

Agricultural Impacts

Agriculture Industry Struggling to Recover from Drought-The historic drought of 2011 is still continuing across the panhandle and agriculture is paying the price. Forecasts call for the drought to continue and worsen leaving no forage for cattle and poor prospects for crops. A USDA crop report says that 40% of the state’s pasture and rangeland is in poor to very poor conditions, and cattle numbers across the state are at their lowest numbers since 1967.
KFDA News, June 13, 2013

Farmers Scuffle Though Record South Texas Drought- The record drought in South Texas has claimed field after field of crops with the region suffering from severe to exceptional drought. The current drought has recorded eight fewer inches of rain this drought period than the extensive drought in the 1950s. Experts predict that the current drought may cause upwards of $100 million in crop losses across the coastal bend.
The Baytown Sun, June 15, 2013

Counties Still in Severe Drought, Growers Consider Other Crops- The latest drought report has much of the Panhandle under the most intense level of drought, and 95% of Texas is currently experiencing drought conditions. Last week’s hailstorm also has caused problems as over 2800 acres of cropland have been lost due to the severe weather.
KCBD News, June 25, 2013

Inclement Weather

Flooding/ Rainfall

Eagle Pass Engulfed by Overnight Flooding- In the middle of the night floodwaters prompted a mandatory evacuation for parts of Maverick County after 10.71 inches of rain fell near Eagle Pass. Floodwaters submerged US 277 at the usually dry Elm Creek with 12 feet of water and many neighborhoods were submerged as well stranding residents.
KENS News, Gary Cooper, June 17, 2013

Texas Issues Disaster Declaration for Flood-Stricken Maverick County- After rain inundated Maverick County the state of Texas has made available state resources to help in the recovery. The flooding hospitalized affected 482 homes, stranded 430 people in need of rescue, and hospitalized 9 people.
KENS News, Gary Cooper, June 18, 2013

It Rained and Rained, but Almost no one Complained- With three years of excessive drought the weeks heavy rainfall felt like a huge reprieve. Over four inches of rain fell across Bailey County throughout the week bringing minor flooding and small hail.
Muleshoe Jounal, Larry Thorton, June 20, 2013


Plainview Sees Record High Temp- The 2008 record high of 102 was broken today when the mercury soared to 105 in Plainview. In fact, this is the third time this year that temperatures have surpassed the century mark. All across the Panhandle today, near or above 100 degree temperatures were recorded.
Plainview Herald, Doug McDonough, June 5, 2013

Heat Exhaustion Unusual for Firefighters- With the summer sun beating down, a layer of protective clothing on, and a normal body temperature, firefighters begin their battle with a blaze already at nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit. On Tuesday two firemen were hospitalized for heat exhaustion while working in a burning home in El Paso. To avoid heat exhaustion firemen rotate in and out of the fire and always have water and cool air nearby.
KTSM News, Amber Downing, June 5, 2013

With Temps Soaring, Houston opens Cooling Centers- For the eighth year in a row, Reliant Energy and the city of Houston have opened cooling centers across the city. These centers are for those who are not fortunate enough to have air conditioning units or wish to lessen their electric bills during the heat of the day. There are seven centers located across the city and they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Houston Chronicle, Minh Dam, June 6, 2013

DFW Cooling Centers Open as Heat Begins- With triple digit heat on the way Reliant Energy has sponsored two cooling centers in Dallas to help the underprivileged find relief from the heat. The centers are run by Vietnam War veteran Patrick Jackson, and are held to a high standard for service.
KTVT News, Jeff Ray, June 13, 2013

Record South Texas heat Streak Over, Another to Begin?- Corpus Christi set seven consecutive record high temperatures over the past week and more record highs may be on the way. From June 16 through 22 record highs were either matched or broken.
The Corpus Christi Caller Times, June 24, 2014

Border Patrol Agents Uncover Immigrants, Recover Remains at Checkpoints- Undocumented immigrants who try to sneak around Border checkpoints face danger in the form of the Texas heat. Border Patrol agents have been alerted several times to people in danger only to discover their body’s later succumbed to the heat.
The Corpus Christi Caller Times, Nadia Tamez-Robledo, June 26, 2013

Nitrous Oxide Tank Explodes Inside Vehicle in Midland- The summer heat claimed the life of a prized Ford Mustang in Midland when, according to the fire marshal, the heat caused a tank of nitrous oxide to explode totaling the vehicle.
KWES News, June 26, 2013

16 Treated for Heat Related Illness- After the record-breaking heat over Friday and Saturday 16 people were treated by the Austin EMS for heat related illnesses. When the temperatures hit 106 on Friday and 108 on Saturday the risk for heat illness skyrocketed in the area with the elderly and children at the highest risk.
The Austin American Statesman, Sam Womack, June 30, 2013

Severe Weather

Strong Storms Roll Through Houston Area- On Thursday evening strong storms pushed through Houston dropping from quarter to ping-pong ball sized hail and causing over 17,000 power outages due to fallen trees and power lines. The biggest effect of the storms was the delay in the graduation ceremony for several high schools including Dickinson and Clear Lake High Schools.
KTRK News, June 7, 2013

2 Rescued After Boat Capsizes During Storms- When strong storms passed over Trinity Bay, two men out on the water called for help using their cell phones when their boat began to take on water. The cell phone company was able to give the latitude and longitude of the call and the Coast Guard arrived to save the men stranded in the water.
The Houston Chronicle, June 7, 2013

Lightning Sparks Two Cooke County Fires- Lightning from an early morning storm caused a structure fire in Cooke County to both a utility shed and a home. The structures were a total loss.
Gainesville Daily Register, Greg Russell, June 7, 2013

Wind Gust Reaches 76 mph in Hamby, 4 Inches of Rain Reported in Abilene- Wind gusts from severe storms across the Big Country ranged from 69 mph at the airport to 76 mph near Hamby. The storm system dumped between 2 and 4 inches of rain, and it caused over 21,500 power outages across the area. Damage to the Abilene Christian University campus occurred when water flooded the auditorium and many power poles fell across the city.
KTXS News, Wayne McCormick, June 17, 2013

Severe Storm Delivers Rain, Hail to South Plains- Thunderstorms developing across the Panhandle brought quarter sized hail in Lubbock and baseball sized hail north of the airport. One to two inches of rain were reported from the storms, which moved from west to east across the area.
KCBD News, Cutter Martin, June 18, 2013


Dust Cloud Darkens Parts of Lubbock Amid Winds- Strong west winds picked up loose dust around the Lubbock area reducing visibility to under half a mile. Recent rainfall allowed for loose silt to come to the surface of the soil and then be quickly picked up by winds gusting to 40 mph.
KWES News, June 21, 2013

Wind Causes Widespread Damage Across Borger- As of this morning the National Weather Service was touring Borger to see what type of event caused the damage in the city of Borger. Wind gusts were recorded up to 94 mph and many building saw roof damage and several homes had windows broken.
Borger News Herald, JC Cortez, June 28, 2013

Other Climate Impacts

Animals/Aquatic Life

Texas Tortoise Dealing with Drought, Other Dangers- The Texas Tortoise is listed as a threatened species and is facing problems due to the extensive three-year drought across the Coastal Bend. Heat determines the sex of tortoises in their eggs so high heat makes it more likely for females to be born. The drought also makes it more difficult for tortoises to fight of diseases such as a lung fungal infection. Getting hit by cars on Texas highways also poses a serious threat to the species.
The Baytown Sun, June 16, 2013


The Cost of Water- With the population of Dallas booming and drought looming, water conservation and supply is a priority. Many water experts cite that raising the price of water would be a good way to pay for increased service requirements and encourage conservation, but with increased price comes a drop in demand and a drop in city revenue.
KDAF News, Charlie Berens, June 3, 2013


Taking Steps Against Heat Related Illness this Summer- Cases of heat illness have already come into area hospitals, so doctors urge people to stay cool and when outdoors remain hydrated and take frequent breaks. Heat exhaustion has symptoms of nausea, headache, and dizziness, and precautions should be taken immediately to avoid serious injury or death.
KGBT News, Mary Martinez, June 5, 2013

Beat the Heat Begins Summer 2013 Air Conditioning Installations- Longview’s charitable organization “Beat the Heat” has begun its distribution of air conditioner units to the elderly and disabled this week. The units go mostly to this group because they are much more at risk for heat related illness.
Longview News Journal, Angela Ward, June 7, 2013

When is the Best Time of Day to Get in a Workout in Summer Heat?- With summer temperatures already pushing upwards, doctors say that the time of day you workout can make all the difference. The best times to workout are when the mid-day heat is not at its max such as in the early morning or later evening hours. It is also important to stay hydrated and keep electrolytes up during and after a workout.
KPRC News, June 21, 2013

Hot Cars and Kids Don’t Mix- Every year an average of 38 children die from being left in a hot car. The inside of a car heats up much quicker than the outside and a temperature outside of 100 can mean a temperature inside of 140! Make sure to never leave children in a hot car even for a short time because children are much more susceptible to the heat than adults are.
The Jacksonville Daily Progress, Jo Anne Embleton, June 26, 2013

Alpine Man Dies from Heat Stroke- A 65 year old man from Alpine died from heat stroke over the weekend after his car wrecked and he was forced to walk over two miles in the extreme heat. When emergency officials were reported to the scene his body was found and he was unresponsive. This is the second heat related incident in a week after a utility worker became disoriented from the heat.
KWES News, June 30, 2013


2011 Drought Still Affecting East Texas Pine Trees- The Piney Woods was hit hard by the historic 2011 drought and the pine trees are still suffering from the dry period. It can take several years after a drought for trees to recover, and the excessive dryness has weakened the immune systems of trees making them more susceptible to pine beetle invasion.
KETK News, Marlena Hamilton, June 27, 2013


Gulf Coast Water Authority Issues Call on Water Rights- The Gulf Coast Water Authority has issued a decree claiming senior water rights on the Brazos River. This will place the GCWA as a top priority on the Texas Center for Environmental Quality’s list for water stakeholders. This comes about as the Brazos drops below 100 cubic feet of flow per minute with a normal of between 500 and 600 cubic feet per minute.
The Daily News, Alex Macon, June 24, 2013


Lightning Strike Knocks Out New Ride at Fair Park- The brand new Top o’ Texas ride at Fair Park was struck by lightning early on Sunday morning frying the electrical board and putting the ride down for several days. Other equipment along the midway was also damaged, but was quickly repaired.
KXAS News, Stefan Gorman, June 11, 2013


Recent Rain Causes Flooding on Midland’s Roads- A dose of much needed rain fell across Midland Thursday night, but the rain that fell quickly filled up poor drainage areas such as on Wadley Road and Scharbauer Drive. These thoroughfares have drainage in the middle of the roadway and when heavy rains come quickly fill up, causing headaches for many drivers.
KWES News, Devon Sanchez, June 14, 2013

Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.