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The month of March in Texas saw some wild weather, starting with ravaging wildfires and ending with tornado-spawning and flood threatening severe weather. Since the warm and moist spring season began early this year, the beginning of wildflower and allergy season followed suit. Mosquitos and bees were very active early in the month, which led to the kickoff of wildflower season, including the blooming of bluebonnets and Texas mountain laurels nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. Following the budding greenery was a higher than normal pollen count which is expected to continue throughout the season.

Warm and dry conditions throughout the majority of March led to the start of an active fire weather season, especially in the western and northern portions of the state. Wildfires in the Panhandle caused the evacuation of residents from over 350 homes and burned 500,000 acres of pastures and farmland. Over 10,000 heads of cattle were displaced by the fires and at least four men and women were killed while trying to round up the cattle and escape the flames. Overall there was an estimated $21 Million dollars in damage to the farmers and livestock from the Panhandle fires this month. In true Texas style, many farmers around the state came to the area with supplies for those affected in their time of need.

Rainfall in Central and East Texas has been helpful to fight drought in the region, and warmer than average temperatures have promoted an extended growing season for crops and livestock. However, increasing fuel costs may have an impact on producers and consumers this year. Higher fuel costs would lead to increased cost for irrigation, fertilizer, and chemicals, which would result in higher prices in the retail market.

The start of severe weather season in Texas was also prompted by warmer than normal temperatures. In late March, strong thunderstorms and tornadoes led to numerous delayed flights, damaged property, and school cancellations. Festivals and athletic games around the state had to be cancelled due to storms, such as the Zilker Kite festival in Austin which was postponed due to inclement weather to protect Zilker Park from any potential damage. In the southeast, roof damage downed trees, and broken windows were reported due to a brief tornado and strong winds. Reports of hail over two inches in diameter and at least one tornado led to damage to vehicles, homes, and trees in North Texas. Downed power lines as a result of severe storms caused the death of two boys in Fort Worth after they touched the live power lines.

Several people were killed or injured in car accidents due to heavy rains and flooding. In Guadalupe County, a car carrying a husband and wife was swept away into the Santa Clara Creek by heavy rains. The wife passed away in the incident and the husband was left with hypothermia and minor injuries. A head on collision during a heavy rain event killed three people and injured one in Fayette County. During a rain event north of Waco, a six-vehicle pileup injured 10 people and killed a four year old girl.
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