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Texas residents could definitely feel the transition from winter to spring this March. Warm temperatures at the start set a trend that sustained for most of the month with some intermittent cool spells throughout. Ideal atmospheric conditions for severe weather development brought destruction to numerous Texas communities. Though the severe storms produced some heavy rain events, the totals were not enough to relieve drought in several regions in the state that continued to suffer with abnormally dry conditions and wildfire ignition.

March began with warm and mild conditions as a high pressure system kept the weather mostly calm. Residents in the central Texas region enjoyed sunshine and warm temperatures in the 70s as they went to the polls for the Texas Primaries. Just a few days later, conditions changed from mostly enjoyable to slightly uncomfortable as temperatures climbed into the upper 80s. Some isolated areas in San Antonio and southern Texas saw unseasonable temperatures in the lower 90s. Spring break and Easter weekend conditions were also fair for students and families alike. The warm weather this month not only encouraged Texas residents to have more of a presence outdoors, but also drove snakes from dormancy to eat and breed.

A transition to spring also meant the start to severe weather season. After a strong storm with 80 mph winds and baseball sized hail toppled trees and powerlines tore through East Texas, two people were killed while several others were injured. At the end of the month, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Caldwell County for nearly two minutes. Winds speeds from the tornado were estimated at 80 mph with a diameter of nearly 50 yards. Severe weather events also shut down recreational and athletic events such as the Texas Food Truck Showdown in Waco and an exhibition game between the Cincinnati Reds in Arlington.

Several rain events also impacted regions of the state. The DFW airport measured nearly 5 inches of rain on March 1 which set a new rainfall record for the station. Communities in White Oak, Texas on March 5 were evacuated from their homes after the Sabine River overflowed due to heavy rains. The National Weather Service reported that the highest standing river water was approximately 36 feet, which is considered a major flood stage. Flooding in the Brazos Valley significantly impacted students at Texas A&M University where water standing at 4 inches poured into a campus building. Several students helped pushed a car that stalled out of flooding waters after another student attempted to drive through the high-standing water.

Significant rainfall events were not as prevalent in the northern portions of the state, evident by the persistence of drought conditions. Parts of the Panhandle were elevated to “exceptional drought” by the end of the month after the continuation of a dry streak extending back to late last year. A wildfire ignited by the dry conditions that burned nearly 200 acres near Follet, Texas lead to the evacuation of residents on March 15. Other grass fires were reported by the Texas A&M Forest Service in Potter County that burned a total of 12 acres along Highway 136 between Amarillo and Fritch.

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