Skip Nav
March ushered in springtime in Texas, which brings with it severe and fire weather, and most of Texas saw some type of severe weather this month. North Texas had almost 10 confirmed tornadoes, and southeast Texas had a flood emergency. The Coastal Bend saw severe thunderstorms mid-month, taking power down to nearly 67,000 customers. The Sabine River and the downstream town of Deweyville were the headlining stories this month, though, with historic flooding records: the Sabine River crested at just over 33 feet, beating out the previous record of 32 feet. The high water prompted officials to issue a mandatory evacuation as the entire town of 1,200 was submerged by flood waters. Another 9,000 people is the surrounding region also were forced to evacuate their homes. As much as 20 inches of rain hit southeast Texas, which prompted Texas Governor Greg Abbott to declare a state of disaster. In total, 9 Texas counties in Southeast and North Texas were approved by FEMA to gain federal assistance for weather related damages. Weather damage estimates have not been calculated for the entire state, but March could set records in damage costs, with a single tornadic event in Haslet expected to top out at $600 million in auto and property damages. This comes after news that, in the aftermath of the 2015 flooding in Houston and Central Texas, Houston and San Marcos will share more than $142 million in disaster funds. The Lower Colorado River Authority has also spent $300,000 on advanced rain gauges for Central Texas rivers, which caused record flooding in 2015.

The arrival of cold fronts during spring also brings the danger of fire weather. Towards the end of the month the Texas Panhandle saw at least 8 counties with a fire burning at the same time. Wind gusts of 60mph and low relative humidity values sparked sporadic fires across the area. One fire spanned upwards of 3,000 acres. Farmers across the state are facing a wide range of struggles. Rio Grande Valley farmers are facing low market prices and abnormally dry conditions. Some West Texas farmers are optimistic about water management during the toughest growing months, however, due to increased water reservoir levels from heavy rains over the past year. Other West Texas farmers are dealing with weed control issues due to warmer weather. The consistent warmer than normal conditions has also helped the Texas state wildflower to bloom earlier than normal. The early blossoming along with a bout of recent rain will offer an extended lifetime of bluebonnets. Other wildflowers will begin to bloom as spring progresses.
Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.