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Burn Bans/Fire

County-wide burn bans through April 1

Two large West Texas wildfires now 85 percent contained-- Two large wildfires in West Texas have destroyed four homes and caused the evacuation of over 1200 families due to the spreading fires that burned nearly 2200 acres. A fire in Hockley County is 85 percent contained after burning 8500 acres. Parts of Texas are still under a high fire danger.
KXAN, Staff Writer, March 1, 2017

Gusty winds, dryness to continue brush fire threat over US southern Plains-- Strong winds and dry weather have caused the risk for brush fires over North Central Texas and parts of the Panhandle. Warmer than average temperatures have caused grass and plants to bloom earlier than normal, fueling fires in the area. Residents are asked to use extreme caution when using outdoor power equipment.
Accuweather, Alex Sosnowski, March 2, 2017

Video gives pilot’s-eye view of fight against massive Texas forest fire-- Pilots from the Texas A&M Forest Service flew directly into the smoke from the wildfires in Tulia to help put out the flames. Although the fire is completely contained, it burned neatly 12,000 acres of land and destroyed four homes and eight outbuildings in its path. Forest Service officials asked residents not to fly drones near wildfires, as the drones can prevent fire-fighting aircraft from doing their job.
Houston Chronicle, Fernando Ramirez, March 2, 2017

Wildfire Season in North Texas-- Strong winds are mostly to blame for wildfires in North Texas, along with the low humidity and warm temperatures in the region. The wildfire season typically lessens in April and May as spring rain increases the moisture and green vegetation sprouts. In the Panhandle, strong winds have caused a Red Flag Warning for the area.
NBC DFS, Grant Johnston, March 3, 2017

Two Brownwood firefighters deploy to wildfires with state system-- Two Brownwood firefighters deployed for over a week to help fight wildfires in Amarillo with the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System. The state system is vital to the fire protection of Texas. In the event of a large wildfire, firefighters from different parts of the region are called upon to serve the public where there is a shortage of firefighters so that fire protection and prevention is a top priority.
Brownwood Bulletin, Steve Nash, March 4, 2017

Lubbock and Lubbock County Prepared for Very High Fire Danger-- High fire danger is expected for Lubbock and parts of the South Plains on Monday due to gusty winds and dry conditions, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. Although an outdoor burn ban is not in place, outdoor burning is restricted due to the high fire danger.
KAMC, James Clark, March 6, 2017

Wildfires in Texas Panhandle Prompt Some Evacuations-- Wildfires in the Panhandle have caused residents of at least 350 homes. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, one fire in Potter County near Amarillo has burned over 23,000 acres and threatened 150 homes. Another wildfire in Ochiltree and Lipscomb Counties is nearly 40,000 acres in size and nearly 30 miles in length has threatened 200 homes
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, March 6, 2017

4 Dead as wildfires burn across Texas-- Several wildfires in North Texas have burned over 125,000 acres, killing 4 people and injuring 4 more. A wildfire in Gray County killed 3 people as they tried to save their cattle. A fire in Perryton is only 5 percent contained and has burned 100,000 acres. The Perryton fire has caused mandatory evacuation of Glazier where 2 homes have been lost in the fire.
KXAN, Claire Ricke, March 7, 2017

Winds push wildfire smoke over West Texas-- Wildfires across the Panhandle have burned over 440,000 acres of land in 8 counties, as well as killed and injured several people and numerous livestock in the fire's’ wake. AgriLife Extension Service is working with county judges to establish a Livestock Supply Point in both Gray and Lipscomb Counties so that ranchers who suffer cattle, land, and equipment losses may be helped.
OA News, Staff Writer, March 7, 2017

Ranch hand killed in Panhandle wildfire was Baylor graduate-- One of the three ranch hands that died while trying to herd cattle away from a large wildfire Monday afternoon in the Franklin, a town just outside of Amarillo, was a 35 year old graduate of Baylor University. Two other ranch hands, a 20 year old man and a 23 year old woman also died in the fire. Another 25 year old man died in Lipscomb County after he was overcome by smoke as he drove home Monday night.
KWTX, Staff Writer, March 8, 2017

Father-to-be Cade Koch among victims of Plains wildfires-- Intense wildfires in the Panhandle killed a 25 year old man as he was driving home from work to help his wife move away from the fires. The cause of death was deemed smoke inhalation. The fires, located in Perryville, burned nearly 500 square miles of land in the Panhandle, making it the largest wildfire burning in the state.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin, March 9, 2017

Mutual aid crews from across Texas help fight Perryton fire-- Due to a lack of resources in Perryton, fire crews from across the state have come together to battle the spreading fire through Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Roberts, and Hemphill counties. 329 fire departments and over 5,000 volunteer and active firefighters participate in the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS), which moves helping hands to regions of the state in need of assistance.
KFDA, Jennifer Mutz, March 9, 2017

Texas Ranchers Perish in Tragic Fire-- Two young men and a young woman attempted to save the lives of cattle and horses, but passed away during the wildfires on Franklin Ranch in Amarillo. The fire was called the Perryton Fire and was located in Gray County. One man left behind two children and a pregnant wife. The other two who passed were dating.
US Ag Net, Staff Writer, March 10, 2017

#MakeADifferenceMonday: Fire relief efforts-- After fires tore through the Panhandle last week and burned hundreds of acres of pasture land and displaced over 10,000 heads of cattle, farmers from all over Texas banded together to help the victims. 24 tons of specially grown hay were delivered to the farmers in need to help feed the horses and cattle that were left.
FOX KIDY, Senora Scott, March 13, 2017

A&M University System aid in fire recovery -- Faculty, staff, and students at Texas A&M helped those affected by the wildfires in the Panhandle. The third largest fire, the Perryton Fire, was contained by the Texas A&M Forest Service. When the largest fires were contained, they still were in almost 500,000 acres of land. They also used fire retardant to slow down the spread of the wildfires. In addition to helping with containing the fire, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service made three points where people could get the extra supplies from fencing things to livestock supplies, which were donated to the region.
Plainview Daily Herald, Staff Writer, March 14, 2017

US wildfires ravage ranches in three states-- A fire in Lipscomb, which moved up to 70 mph was one of several fires across more than 2 million acres that affected the Texas Panhandle as well as a few bordering states. The fires caused millions of dollars in damage and killed thousands of livestock in its path. In Schwerzenbach ranch, the fire burned nearly all 1,000 acres and killed 40 cattle. A young man in a nearby community was also killed.
AOL News, Lucas Jackson, March 15, 2017

Burn bans and prescribed fires in Texas-- Two Borger Fire Department firefighters suffered burn injuries while working on a prescribed fire in the panhandle of Texas. One of the firefighters was seriously injured and the other was treated at a nearby hospital and released. Even though a burn ban was in effect in Donley County, Texas law exempts prescribed fires from burn bans.
Wildfire Today, Chris Schenck, March 15, 2017

Warm, windy conditions to increase fire threat across US High Plains-- Record high heat along with dry and windy conditions will cause a high fire threat in the central and southern Plains into Thursday night, including the Texas Panhandle and northern West Texas. Any fires that ignite may have the potential to spread rapidly.
AccuWeather, Renee Duff, March 16, 2017

CONTAINED: Multiple Fire Departments Called Out to Large Grass Fire South of Pampa-- A large grass fire in Pampa caused the closure of a highway due to crews working on hotspots. Six fire departments were called out to help control the flames. The fire sparked a few cars in a salvage yard and burned an old barn. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was treated in a nearby hospital.
KAMR, Karl Wehmhoener, March 17, 2017

Study shows wildfire does not damage barbed wire-- Although large wildfires usually burn fences and especially wooden posts, the barbed wire is typically still usable. The ability to reuse the barbed wire from a fence after a grass fire can reduce the recovery costs for the producer. Fencing is estimated to be the second major expense tied to the fires of the 480,000 acres burned in the Panhandle. Nearly 975 miles of fence were affected.
AgriLife Today, Kay Ledbetter, March 18, 2017

Grass fire breaks out on Michigan Avenue-- A grass fire near an apartment complex broke out in Laredo. According to witnesses, the fire may have been intentionally set, but that information has not been confirmed. Crews are working to control the flames.
KGNS, Alex Cano, March 22, 2017

Roberts Co. fire burns 38,000 acres-- According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, over 38,000 acres have burned in the Rankin Ranch Road Fire near Miami in Roberts County. As of Saturday, the fire is 100% contained. Three homes were threatened by the fire on Thursday, but rain in the area helped containment efforts. Three single-engine air tankers and one air attack was dispatched to assist with the blaze.
KFDA, Staff Writer, March 23, 2017

Windy, dry Thursday fans blazes across Central Texas-- A large fire sparked by dry conditions and high winds was one of several fires in Central Texas Thursday. About a dozen apartment units were affected by the fire, but no one was injured. Firefighters in Austin responded to more than 50 small grass fires, many of which started with discarded cigarettes. A wind advisory was in effect for most of Central Texas on Thursday.
Austin American-Statesman, Staff Writer, March 23, 2017

Texas wildfire burns 94 sq. miles before rain quells flames-- A wildfire in the Texas Panhandle was quickly spread across 94 square miles by strong winds on Thursday across Ochiltree and Roberts counties. Rain helped firefighters contain the fire. The fire closed several roads, but firefighters were able to save at least three homes by calling assistance from air tankers.
U.S. News and World Report, Staff Writer, March 24, 2017

Grass fire breaks out west of DFW-- A grass fire near Weatherford Friday evening burned between twenty and thirty acres before firefighters controlled the flames. Officials believe the fire began from an RV parked along the roadway with a mechanical problem. Much of western parts of North Texas were under a Red Flag Warning Friday afternoon due to high winds and low humidity.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, March 24, 2017

S.E.A.T training for severe fire weather-- The Texas A&M Forest Service Pilots practiced dropping liquid retardant at the Abilene Regional Airport. The pilots were flying single engine air tankers or SEAT’s that hold over 700 pounds of liquid retardant. The pilots are required to fly at least every 14 days so they stay on top of their skills, especially when severe weather is ahead.
Texas A&M Forest Service, Amber Treybig, March 21, 2017


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, March 7, 2017
U.S. Drought Monitor, March 28, 2017

Drought conditions spread in Red River Valley-- Drought conditions have grown along the Red River Valley and North Texas despite rains to the southern portion of the state. About 5% of the state is considered to be in a state of drought currently. Dry conditions in the Panhandle have contributed to recent wildfires in the area. Sherman has only received about 0.33 inches of rainfall for the month of March, which is 1/10 the average. Due to the low rainfall, Grayson County and the majority of Fannin County is in moderate fire danger.
Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, March 16, 2017


Texas Crop, Weather-- Central Texas has experienced good rains and in return healthy soil moisture. Crop and livestock were in good condition. In the Rolling Plains, up to 3 inches of rain were reported in some areas and the warm conditions caused an increase in wheat production. The Coastal Bend saw heavy rainfall, and excess moisture delayed corn planting in some areas. In East Texas, several counties received rainfall and pasture conditions improved. The Panhandle saw dry, warm, and windy conditions that led to high fire danger in the region. West Texas also saw unseasonably warm temperatures, but rain helped crops grow and livestock was in good condition. South Texas was unusually hot and dry, and temperatures fluctuated from 50 to 100 degrees. Crops and livestock were fair, but soil moisture remained low.
AgriLife Extension, Adam Russell, March 2, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report-- Increasing fuel costs may have an impact on producers and consumers in 2017. Higher fuel costs cause an increase in costs for irrigation, fertilizer, and chemicals. The rising prices of fuel combined with the large wildfires in North Texas have caused a strain on producers in Texas. This may lead to an increase in cost of crops and food for consumers.
Agrilife Today, Adam Russell, March 7, 2017

Wheat closes higher as adverse weather threatens winter crops-- Since little or no rain has fallen in the Texas panhandle in the past month, the red winter wheat crop is expected to be extremely dry. The future of the crop is uncertain if the dry weather continues.
Successful Farming, Staff Writer, March 15, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report-- Central Texas counties received rainfall, but dry conditions are anticipated to follow. Temperatures were warmer than average for this time of year. Conditions were wet in the Coastal Bend and crop planting slowed some in areas where field were too saturated. East Texas was relatively dry and pasture conditions varied from excellent in Rusk County to very poor in Trinity and Anderson counties. The South Plains received smoke in early March from the deadly Panhandle wildfires. Continued high winds and dry weather depleted subsoil and topsoil moisture levels.
AgriLife Extension, Adam Russell, March 17, 2017

Thousands of head of livestock killed in Texas wildfires-- There were three fires within the Texas Panhandle. Together, the fires burned over 700 square miles of land. In addition to the loss of cattle, sadly these fires also took the lives of four people in Texas, one individual in Oklahoma and another in Kansas. The 5,000 livestock, which remain alive, were in dire need for feeding supplies and hay.
KTRK, Staff Writer, March 11, 2017

Thornberry urges action on Panhandle wildfire assistance -- Mac Thornberry, a U.S. Congressman, urged the farmers affected by the wildfires to file a Notice of Loss to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin receiving federal assistance. Many are mourning the loss of loved ones, cattle, and property. Any pets, non commercial, or other animals not considered for commercial use, are not covered with this plan. Many farmers used their land to house extra donated supplies and acted as supply points for affected farmers. Lost cattle were also to be reported as quickly as possible.
High Plains/Midwest AG Journal, Staff Writer, March 14, 2017

Agriculture damages from wildfire estimated at about $21 million-- Agricultural losses of $21 million due to recent wildfires in the Panhandle only assess the burned acreage. This estimate does not account for any loss of equipment. Many ranchers will not receive much insurance money to help pay since only ranch houses, some major buildings, and at times, cattle. Certain programs have been established to help victims offset losses such as the 2014 farm bill Livestock Indemnity Program, which can compensate ranchers for 75% of the market value of cattle lost in the fire until a preset loss limit for a producer is reached.
AgriLife Today, Kay Ledbetter, March 18, 2017

Recent Teas wildfire damages estimated to be at least $21 million-- Texas ranchers lost at least $21 million in agricultural damages last week from wildfires that burned more than 1.4 million acres of pastures and rangeland in Texas and other surrounding states.500
San Antonio Express-News, Lynn Brezosky, March 17, 2017

Texas crop and weather report- March 21-- Early spring conditions in College Station disrupted bedding plant producer schedules, but warmer than normal temperatures could call for an extended growing season. Some retailers in midwestern areas have experienced growing issues due to roller coaster temperatures. Retailers tried to avoid receiving plants too early despite the possibility for a late winter freeze, but consumers demand spring time produce.
AgriLife, Adam Russell, March 21, 2017

Significant Weather


Weather Authority Update: Rain for parts of West Texas-- An upper level disturbance will move through West Texas this weekend, bringing the possibility of showers and breezy conditions to the region. The rain will help ease drought conditions, and temperatures will warm into next week with some areas seeing highs in the low 80s.
KOSA, Tom Tefertiller, March 4, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Rain chances decrease tomorrow and sunshine returns early in the week-- Light showers in the Concho Valley and Heartland area will move out overnight, leaving the rest of the region dry until the weekend. Highs will reach the low 80s by Monday, with lows dipping into the low 40s by Tuesday evening. A slight rain chance returns Friday.
KTXS, Megan Murat, March 4, 2017

Soaking rain to threaten flooding but help fight drought over southern Texas-- Southeast and South Texas can expect heavy rain to be an issue this weekend, especially for the communities of Laredo, San Antonio, McAllen, and Corpus Christi. Reduced visibility and slower commutes on I-35 and I-37 will cause hazardous travels. Most of the rain is predicted to fall on the lower Rio Grande Valley Saturday night, causing concerns for flash flooding.
Accuweather, Faith Eherts, March 6, 2017

Central Texas gets more clouds before weekend of expected rain-- There is a slight chance of rain and thunderstorm Thursday morning, with the occurrence of patchy fog before 9 am. Chances of rain will be low through the evening and temperatures will drop into the mid 60s. The possibility of storms will linger until Sunday, with the biggest threat Friday and Saturday.
The Austin American-Statesman, Dahlia Dandashi, March 8, 2017

National Weather Service: Flooding in Corpus Christi expected to worsen-- A flood warning was issued in response to rain from Friday. The Corpus Christi area had rain and thunderstorm chances in the forecast for Saturday. Later on in the weekend, drier weather would stay for a while.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Beatriz Alvarado and Chris Ramirez, March 10, 2017

Unsettled weather pattern through the week ahead-- A front will stall in Northeast Texas this afternoon, and with the aid of daytime heating and low-level moisture, a few scattered storms could be possible. In response to a developing low pressure system across Texas, the front will lift northward as a warm front tonight and tomorrow. The low pressure system will move across Texas through Wednesday, cooling temperatures off as it leaves the state. Sunny skies will return for the weekend, but another system could impact the region on Sunday.
KALB, Staff Writer, March 27, 2017

Warm Weather

ERCOT expects a hot spring and enough power to keep Texas cool-- An early and warm spring is causing high energy demands from Texas residents. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is in charge of 90 percent of Texas’ power grid, says they will have more than enough power to meet the increased energy consumption for the spring and summer months despite the warm temperatures.
Fue Fix, Ryan Handy, March 1, 2017

Austin’s hottest February closes city’s warmest winter on record-- Austin has experienced its warmest winter on record this year. More than one out of every four days this winter exceeded 80 degrees at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. However, the warm winter could have an effect on crops, such as fruit trees not having enough cold days to form buds, and early blooming plants susceptible to a late winter freeze.
The Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, March 1, 2017

Sunshine and warmer temperatures to return Monday to Central Texas-- Sunday’s temperatures were cool in the 50s overnight. Monday the NWS predicted an increase in temperatures after a foggy morning. Overall, Monday and Tuesday were expected to be calm with patchy clouds and highs in the mid 70s. They also forecasted rain for Wednesday.
The Austin American-Statesman, Mary Huber and Elizabeth Findell, March 12, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Sweater weather today but starting to warm back up again tomorrow-- Temperatures were expected to be in the chilly ending the weekend. Fog would be present ahead of the cold front on Monday with temperatures dropping to the 40s. Tuesday the temperatures warm up to the 70s and slowly progress to the 80s by Saturday. The only rain chances were a 10% chance for Wednesday evening going to Thursday morning.
KTXS, Megan Murat, March 12, 2017

For North Texas allergy sufferers, it’s one long ‘FrankenSeason’-- An allergist coined the term “FrankenSeason” to refer to the time when pollen is in the air for a longer time than normal. This extended time of pollen is fueled by mild winters and with adequate rainfall. Pollen from grass is expected to continue to increase during spring. With trees, their pollen count comes from last year’s rainfall, which was sufficient for higher than normal pollen from trees this year.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, March 13, 2017

Roller coaster weather causing spike in allergy issues -- The mild winter this season aided in prolonging allergy season. Pollen and mold counts continue to increase. To aid in avoiding allergens, wash your clothes and keep doors and windows shut to keep the pollen out of the house. A variety of weather conditions including dry windy days, humid rainy days, cold and warm days all intensify either pollen or mold.
KEYE, Lindsay Liepman, March 14, 2017

Swarm weather: The buzz on bees in the Big Country -- The bees are in the mood to travel because of the warmer temperatures in February, which caused bees to think it was already spring. Bees also flourish more when there is abundant rain in the fall, which most of Texas received. Most bee colonies act like cells, meaning once one home gets too large to support each bee well half of the colony will leave with the mature queen bee and leave the rest with the young queen bee. It is important to avoid killing bees and if a hive gets in or near your house the best course of action is to call an exterminator, who can relocate the bees to a safe place.
Abilene Reporter-News, Brian Bethel, March 14, 2017

Morning Weather Forecast With Wes Houx-- Fair weather across North Texas will cause a few pleasant days ahead. Temperatures across the region on Thursday morning will start out on the mild side, but will warm up in the afternoon.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, March 16, 2017

Weather service predicts warmer-than-average spring for Texas-- According to the weather service’s outlook, there is a 50% chance for above-average temperatures for the state of Texas for the months of April, May, and June. There is an enhanced chance for above-average rainfall for the western areas of the Gulf Coast, including southeast Texas. Austin and San Antonio have a 33% chance of experiencing above-average rainfall over the next few months
Community Impact, Nicholas Cicale, March 17, 2017

More Sunshine, More Heat this Weekend-- Temperatures will increase into the weekend, with highs in the low 80s . Morning fog will occur Saturday and Sunday, but the moisture will quickly burn off as daytime heating dominates. There is a chance for an isolated thunderstorm this afternoon. Next week’s temperatures are expected to be even warmer for the official beginning of Spring on Monday. Near record highs are possible Tuesday.
KTRK, Staff Writer, March 18, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Another day with temperatures in the 80’s for Sunday-- A warm Saturday will be followed by an even warmer Sunday in Abilene with highs in the upper 80s and lows in the low 60s. Tuesday’s high temperature will come close to 90 degrees with sunny skies and breezy winds. High temperatures will be in the mid to lower 80s for the rest of the work week.
KTXS, Megan Murat, March 18, 2017

Wildflower wonder: Warm weather fosters flowers early in S. Central Texas-- Warm temperatures in January and February as well as average rainfall promises an early wildflower season. Bluebonnets began to bloom about three weeks earlier than normal, as well as the Texas mountain laurel. Other wildflowers are blooming on schedule.
New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, Robin Blackburn, March 19, 2017

First day of spring may feel more like summer for Dallas-Fort Worth-- Although spring begins Monday, the warm temperatures feel like summer. Monday will bring high temperatures in the upper 80s and clear skies, and temperatures throughout the week should stay in the mid 80s until a front arrives Thursday. There is a possibility for severe storms throughout the area Friday afternoon and into the weekend.
The Dallas Morning News, Eline de Bruijn, March 19, 2017

Zika batte could bring genetically modified mosquitoes to Houston-- Warmer weather in Houston has sparked a new outbreak of the Zika virus. Harris County officials are considering a new approach that would introduce genetically modified mosquitoes to the Houston area whose offspring would die soon after birth, resulting in a decline of the local mosquito population.
Houston Heights Patch, James Brock, March 20, 2017

Breezy, warm spring days continue this week-- A warmer than average start to spring in the Brazos Valley has temperatures reaching 10 degrees above average. Childress, Texas reached 98 degrees. Not much rain is expected for the upcoming week until a weak cold front moves in Friday. Rain and thunderstorms are likely over the weekend.
KBTX-TV, Shel Winkley, March 20, 2017

Spring brings summertime temps to Longview region-- Temperatures in East Texas reached nearly 20 degrees above normal for the start of spring. The official temperature in Longview reached 87 degrees, 3 degrees shy of the record set in 1936. The warm trend is expected to stick around for the rest of the week until a threat of thunderstorms on Friday brings rain and cooler temperatures.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, March 20, 2017

Garden: herbs are great choice for Texas climate-- Since Texas has such a warm climate, herbs tend to grow very well. Basil does not grow well in the cold weather, it should be planted later in spring when temperatures warm up. Cilantro cannot grow in the hot weather, so it should be planted towards the fall when temperatures cool off. Most herbs are hardy enough to withstand wintertime frost, so they can be planted either in the spring or fall.
Waco Tribune Herald, Melody Fitzgerald, March 22, 2017

NOAA predicts wet, warm spring for Houston area-- The warm trend for the beginning of spring is predicted to continue through the end of May. Rainfall could also be higher than normal this spring, which will keep drought conditions at bay in the Houston area. River flooding is not expected to be a threat despite the increased precipitation. Soil moisture in the area is currently dry, and streamflow is low throughout the region.
KTRK, Tim Heller, March 22 2017

Pleasant Saturday in store for North Texas-- Low dew points and temperatures in the 70s caused plenty of sunshine for North Texas. Calm and pleasant weather is expected until Sunday afternoon and evening, which will see an enhanced risk for severe weather. Storm threats include damaging winds, large hail, and possibly an isolated tornado. Only 20% of the area will see storms, mostly north of the I-20 corridor.
KDFW, Staff Writer, March 25, 2017

Warmest March, warmset start to any year in Austin weather history-- Austin hasn’t experiences a March as warm as this in 120 years of weather records. Climate records show 2016 ended with the warmest final 90 days of any year on record and was followed by Austin’s eighth warmest January. February and March rang in as the warmest .February and March on record in the city. In terms of precipitation, 2017 has been near normal.
Spectrum News, Burton Fitzsimmons, March 31, 2017

Severe Weather

Severe Weather Awareness Week encourages tornado preparedness-- The week of March 6-12 is deemed Texas Severe Weather Awareness Week, and the Big Country is urging businesses, school, and citizens across the region to review tornado preparedness plans and exercise drills Wednesday morning. The awareness week is designed to call attention to severe and hazardous weather threats in an attempt to reduce injuries and the loss of life.
KTXS, Charisma Thrash, March 7, 2017

Texas is now entering ‘tornado season’-- During the months of April through June, Southeast Texas statistically has a higher chance for tornadoes. Between the years of 1992 and 2015, the month of April saw nearly double the number of tornadoes as March. However, the month of November still produces the highest number of tornadoes in Texas.
Houston Chronicle, Fernando Ramirez, March 8, 2017

Central Texas to end the week with possible storms-- Southerly winds have increased humidity values across Central Texas, causing clouds and a chance for isolated storms to develop Thursday. Thunderstorm chances will increase Friday with a low chance for severe weather. High temperatures will be in the mid to upper 70s. A cold front is expected to pass Saturday, bringing showers and cooler conditions.
KXXV, Jeff Forgeron, March 9, 2017

Weather authority UPDATE: Decent weekend rains for parts of West Texas-- Thunderstorms brought a half an inch of rain, golf ball sized hail, and 68 mph winds to West Texas. Further east the hail was smaller and the rain was less. During Spring Break there was no more rain in the forecast for the area.
KOSA, Tom Tefertiller, March 12, 2017

Flight cancellations soar, 8,000 since Sunday -- The weather was nice in Houston, however weather in the Northeast was not so pleasant. In fact the Northeast was experiencing one of the largest storms of the season, which lead to delayed flights.
KHOU, Staff Writer, March 14, 2017

Severe weather threat, including tornadoes, kicks off Thursday in the Plains, sweeps into the Sought Friday, Saturday-- A threat for severe thunderstorms and associated hazards such as tornadoes and flooding will take place beginning Thursday in the Plains. Strong winds in the jet stream will support storms to grow, and ample moisture will fuel the storms. A strong area of surface low pressure is expected to develop in the central High Plains Thursday and Friday, and will effect the Midwest by Saturday.
The Weather Channel, Jonathan Belles, March 20, 2017

Arrival of spring brings Waco warmer weather, possible severe storms-- Waco saw warm temperatures in the mid 80s for the arrival of spring Monday, but as the warm temperatures continue, severe weather season in Central Texas is also nearing close. With the average high for this time of year about 72 degrees, temperatures in Waco are about 10 degrees above normal. Student rowers from Kansas were welcomed this week by warm and pleasant weather as they traveled to Waco to practice in the Brazos River for Spring Break.
Waco Tribune-Herald, Kristin Hoppa, March 20, 2017

Possible strong to severe thunderstorms for Friday-- A threat for strong to severe thunderstorms returns to East Texas this weekend. A storm system off the west coast will move towards East Texas by Friday, and a dry line ahead of a cold front will trigger storms across West Texas during Friday morning. A squall line will form during midday Friday and will move into East Texas by the evening. Damaging winds over 60 mph, frequent lightning, and large hail are the primary threats with the storms.
KLTV, Cedric Haynes, March 21, 2017

First Alert Weather Day set Friday; storms could push into area, spread during afternoon, evening-- There is potential for strong to severe thunderstorms in East Texas Friday, The SPC has placed all of East Texas under a slight risk for severe weather for the afternoon and evening hours. An enhanced risk may be added before Friday. Threats associated with the severe storms include strong winds, large hail, frequent lightning, and the possibility for an isolated tornado.
KLTV, Mark Scirto, March 22, 2017

West Texas weather sandwich: stormy night between dusty days-- A line of storms that moved through West Texas dropped several hundredths of an inch of rain along with some small hail. A high wind watch is in effect for Friday afternoon for the far southern Panhandle and northern half of the South and Rolling Plains. The high winds are expected to kick dust into the region over the weekend.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Erica Pauda, March 23, 2017

UPDATE: Tornado storm warnings issued for ETX counties-- A tornado warning was issued for several East Texas counties Friday. Hazards associated with the warning include flying debris, destroyed mobile homes, and damaged roofs, windows, and vehicles. The Marshall Police Department asked residents to stay home due to downed trees and power lines in the area.
KLTV, Staff Writer, March 24, 2017

Damage reported from winds, brief tornado overnight-- Storms overnight Friday left significant damage to several homes in far southeast Houston. Roof damage, downed trees, broken windows, and outdoor debris was reported in the area. Multiple homes were damaged structurally. NWS damage reports have not been released yet.
KTRK, Steven Romo, March 25, 2017

Lots of rain chances in forecast for North Texas this week-- Showers and thunderstorms are favorable for most of the week including a threat of severe weather Sunday. Severe thunderstorms north of Interstate 20 may include large hail and damaging winds. Rainfall totals are expected to be less than half an inch. The rain will move out by Monday morning. A second round of storms on Wednesday will be associated with heavy rainfall up to two inches.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., March 26, 2017

Storms expected to roll through Austin area late Tuesday, Wednesday-- A severe storm associated with a passing cold front threatening the Austin area Friday came and went, producing only moderate showers. Another round of storms is expected to move into the area Tuesday and Wednesday with the potential to be severe. The severe threat on Tuesday lies in West Texas where a cold front is expected to generate damaging storms centered near Abilene. The severe threat will move into North Texas by Tuesday evening, and storms are anticipated Wednesday throughout Central Texas.
Austin American-Statesman, Staff Writer, March 26, 2017

Large hail falls from severe thunderstorms across parts of Texas Sunday-- Severe thunderstorms across North Texas caused large hail in the region, damaging numerous cars, trees, and buildings in the area. There were reports of hail over two inches in diameter from the storms.
WTVY, Staff Writer, March 26, 2017

A night of wicked hail in North Texas-- Reports of baseball size hail, damage to vehicles, homes and trees, and at least one tornado came Sunday evening from a severe thunderstorm in Northeast Texas. A tornado warning was issued in Denton County, and a tornado was sighted along with tree damage, but there was no reports of structure damage. Storms are slated to return west of Fort Worth Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
WFAA, Staff Writer, March 27, 2017

Severe weather to threatened South-Central US with tornadoes, damaging hail into Sunday night-- Communities in the vicinity of North Texas will face dangerous thunderstorms into Sunday night as a storm moves in from the Rockies. Warm weather will help activate the severe weather in North Central Texas, and the storms will blow into the area by the evening. The potential for damaging thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash flooding for most of the state will occur again on Wednesday.
AccuWeather, Kristina Pydynowski, March 27, 2017

The next round of severe weather starts in Texas today-- Severe storms will move in this afternoon into tonight and will threaten areas in North Texas with damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding. The main tornado threat will be across West Central Texas west of Dallas this afternoon. The next round of storms will move through Wednesday.
AccuWeather, Henry Margusity, March 38, 2017

Severe weather expected for San Antonio tonight-- San Antonio is in store for an evening of severe thunderstorms with a chance of hail and isolated tornadoes. The city should expect showers in the afternoon Tuesday with potential winds as high as 25 mph.
San Antonio Current, Alejandra Lopez, March 28, 2017

LCRA: Severe weather anticipated across Central Texas Tuesday night and Wednesday-- Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop during the next 36 hours in Central Texas. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Interstate 35 corridor and the Hill Country under a slight risk for severe thunderstorms through the morning. Numerous severe storms are expected across the southern Great Plains. Isolated storms should become more widespread across the Edward’s Plateau this evening.
Community Impact Newspaper, Nicholas Cicale, March 28, 2017

Tornado confirmed on Watauga-Keller border-- A fast moving storm that spawned at least one tornado early Wednesday damaged homes, uprooted trees, and cut electricity to thousands of residents in the North Texas area. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-0 tornado with wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph damaged a Home Depot, overturned sheds, and knocked down power lines. Straight-line winds were responsible for most of the damage, including in Rockwall, where wind speeds of 95 mph were recorded. The early storms knocked out power to more than 200,000 customers in North Texas.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., March 29, 2017

Several North Texas Schools Close Due to Power Outage-- Several schools in the North Texas area were left without power Wednesday due to the severe weather blowing through the area. Some Arlington ISD schools as well as surrounding districts cancelled classes for the day due to the power shortages.
CBS DFW, Staff Writer, March 29, 2017

Tornado, strong wind hits Southeast Texas-- A tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service in the Ivanhoe area of Tyler County. Woodville and Warren school districts delayed letting school buses leave campus until the storm passes.
KFDM, Staff Writer, March 29, 2017

Overnight storms damage homes in North Texas-- Multiple homes were damaged and five houses were destroyed due to the severe weather near Dallas-Fort Worth. Both sides of Interstate 20 were closed due to damage caused by a transmission line falling across the highway.
KHOU, Monica Hernandez, March 29, 2017

Severe storms rake Southern Plains; major damage reported in Rockwall, Texas; Truck driver dies in Oklahoma-- More than a dozen tornadoes were reported across Texas Tuesday night. Residents in Rockwall cleaned up damage Wednesday where a row of homes suffered severe damage in the storms. The damage was reportedly caused by straight line winds as high as 95 mph, not a tornado.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin, March 29, 2017

Two boys killed by downed power lines in Fort Worth after major storms-- Two boys aged 11 and 12 died after they touched downed power lines in a heavily wooded area near a Fort Worth park. The knocked down power lines were a result of the severe storms that passed through the area Tuesday
Houston Chronicle, Carol Christian, March 30, 2017

Weather service confirms Longview tornado in Wednesday’s storm-- The National Weather Service classified an EF-1 tornado with winds between 100 and 110 mph in Longview early Wednesday morning The tornado uprooted trees and damaged roofs of homes in its path.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, March 30, 2017

Photos capture bizarre weather even seen in West Texas-- The National Weather Service in Midland had many reports of a gustnado Tuesday, a weather phenomenon that occurs along the leading edge of a thunderstorm’s outflow. Gustnadoes are short lived but can produce winds from 60 to 100 mph. The Weather Service received reports of actual tornadoes Wednesday as well.
Midland Reporter-Telegram, Staff Writer, March 30, 2017

First alert weather day issued for both Saturday and Sunday-- A potential for severe weather in Central Texas exists between Saturday afternoon and SUnday. A dry line will set up across West Texas Saturday and will cause storms near the Interstate 35 corridor. The storms can be associated with damaging winds and large hail. A slight chance for flooding and isolated tornadoes is also possible. Sunday’s severe threat poses a higher risk for tornadoes.
KXXV, Jeff Forgeron, March 31, 2017

Friday’s windy weather knocked over power lines in Northeast EL Paso-- Strong winds knocked a couple of electrical poled down in Northeast El Paso as well as some nearby palm trees. Residents in the area, however, did not experience power outages.
KFOX 14, Tomas Hoppough, March 31, 2017

Other Climate Impacts


Why are Earth-observing satellites so important? -- Currently about 1,400 satellites are operational and some view further outer space, while others keep their view on Earth. Some of the benefits better known from satellites are their ability to help forecasters track storms, and other lesser known benefits. It is important to promote the lesser known benefits to help people see the value in the satellites.
Mother Nature Network, Russell McLendon, March 14, 2017

Get prepared as Texas tornado season approaches-- Peak tornado season in Texas is late April through early May. Local first responders begin tracking storms during severe weather outbreaks using a variety of programs and technology, including a high-quality 360-degree camera that is used during storm chases. Agencies in the area coordinate with each other to determine if shelters need to be opened and if extra staffing is necessary. If a tornado is confirmed within 10 miles of the city, the outdoor sirens are activated.
Stephenville Empire-Tribune, Autumn Owens, March 19, 2017

West Texas mesonet launches free app for iPhone, iPad-- Texas Tech University’s West Texas Mesonet launched its new app on Thursday with weather data updated every five minutes from the weather stations in the mesonet’s coverage area. The app provides precise weather and agricultural information to your phone from more than 100 mesonet sites across West Texas and bordering states. The app gives users easy access to information on temperature, wind speed, wind direction, dew point, and other parameters in plain language.
KAMC, Staff Writer, March 25, 2017


Woman rescued from rain-swollen Cibolo Creek-- The driver of a car in New Berlin, Texas was rescued Sunday after her car was swept off the road in high waters at Cibolo Creek. The flooding occurred from heavy rain on Saturday, which dropped nearly an inch of rain across South Texas. It took rescuers 30 minutes to get the woman out of the car, and she was uninjured.
ABC KSAT, Chris Shadrock, March 5, 2017

Woman dies in Guadalupe County, Texas, flooding; husband found clinging to tree-- A husband and wife were in their car when it was swept away into Santa Clara Creek. The wife passed away in the incident and the husband was left with hypothermia and minor injuries. Remember to avoid driving in flooded streets to stay safe. The wife was able to make it out of the car, but rescuers recovered her body within a few hours of searching.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin, March 10, 2017

Head-on crash in heavy rain kills 3, injures 1 in Fayette Co. Saturday-- Each car had a driver and a passenger. During a heavy rain event, a Lexus started to swerve into oncoming traffic. Of those involved in the accident, the driver of the Lexus was the only one, who survived. Police caution people to drive much slower during heavy rain events to avoid accidents like this.
KXAN, Jerry Becker, March 12, 2017

UPDATE: Girl, 4, killed in Interstate 35 pileup identified-- During a rainstorm in Elm Mott, north of Waco, a six-vehicle pileup occurred. This lead to the death of a four year old girl and injuries to three others in the same car. In addition to this, a 9 year old was sent to the hospital, and is now in stable condition. Ten people sustained small injuries, and one person needed assistance in leaving their car. The road was closed after this crash, and afterwards more accidents occurred.
KWTX, Staff Writer, March 13, 2017


Dead trout seen floating in pond due to warm weather changes -- Warm weather causes people to want to fish more and enjoy the great outdoors. However, at Beal Park trout were found dead floating in the water. During the winter, this same problem occurred and they attempted to plan better before this stocking of fish, however the trout still died. They believe it is because the water got too warm for the fish earlier than normal. The Rainbow Trout thrive between 55 and 60 degrees and are normally all harvested by the time the water heats up. Next, catfish will be added to the lake.
KEWS, Jolina Okazaki, March 14, 2017


Rain cancels Saturday’s baseball game with No. 24 Utah-- Heavy rain and thunderstorms in San Antonio has caused the cancellation of the baseball game between UTSA and Utah. The final game of the series is set for noon on Sunday, after the rain has moved out of the area.
UTSA Baseball, Staff Writer, March 4, 2017

Clouds and fog will blanket Central Texas overnight into Monday-- Heavy rain that caused the Zilker Kite Festival to be postponed has cleared out of Central Texas, but patchy fog is still a concern overnight and into the Monday morning work commute hours. Temperatures Monday are expected to peak near 80 and dip into the low 60s at night. A slight chance for more showers will appear Monday evening into Tuesday.
The Austin American-Statesman, Rachel Rice, March 5, 2017

History buffs brave rain, cold for Texas Independence Day celebration-- Cool temperatures and rain showers did not damper Texas residents from celebrating the state’s 181st birthday at the Texas Independence Day Celebration on Saturday at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. History Buffs re-enacted livelihoods of settlers in the 1800s, including shooting off a replica Civil War-era cannon and making tools under a mobile blacksmithing forge, which was difficult to keep lit under the wet conditions.
The Eagle, Rebecca Fiedler, March 5, 2017

Zilker Kite festival postponed due to inclement weather-- The 88th annual ABC Kite Festival in Zilker Park has been postponed due to inclement weather and wet park conditions due to the heavy rainfall overnight in Austin. The decision was made to increase attendance to the festival and to protect Zilker Park from any potential damage.
KXAN, Marievel Santiago, March 5, 2017

Rain halts Wisconsin’s weekend in Texas-- Due to heavy rain and thunderstorms Sunday in Houston, the Wisconsin softball team’s games against Princeton and Houston at the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic have been cancelled. There are no make-up game times scheduled.
UW Badgers, Staff Writer, March 5, 2017

Roadrunners in second place after weather-shortened first day of Border Olympics-- On Friday the stormy weather at Laredo Country Club caused the competition to be cut short by 36 holes. Before the storm the UTSA Roadrunners were in second place. This was the second year in a row, where the competition was cut short.
UTSA Sports, Staff Writer, March 10, 2017

Rain interrupts Texas A&M’s chance at series win again-- Inclement weather caused a the Texas A&M Aggies versus Brown ears game to be canceled. This occurred in the 8th inning and both teams were tied 2-2. The game was rescheduled for Sunday before the game, which was already planned.
KAGS, Staff Writer, March 11, 2017

Rainy weather does not stop Spring Break crowds-- Texans are accustomed to the weather changing within an hour, so many tourists were not deterred from traveling to Corpus Christi, despite bad weather at the beach. Workers at Mikel May were presently surprised that people were still interested despite the heavy rains.
KRIS TV, Staff Writer, March 11, 2017

Zilker Park kite festival cancelled due to rain-- This is the second time the kite festival was closed due to poor weather conditions this year. Constant rainfall caused the ground to be too wet and muddy for the festival. If people came, they would have caused damage to the property. The first cancellation only lead to a rescheduling, and after the second attempt they cancelled the event completely for 2017.
Downtown Austin Patch, Tony Cantu, March 12, 2017

Weather not cooperating with spring breakers along coast-- Campers endured temperatures in the 50s and many just made campfires to stay warm. Skies were overcast and adding in winds caused the temperatures to feel even cooler. This did not deter people from having a good time at Port Aransas during Spring Break.
KSAT, David Ibanez, March 12, 2017

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