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Drought/Burn Bans/Fire Hazards

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through June 1

May 6 – Cameron County has decided to extend their current burn ban for the seventh time because of drought conditions.
Brownsville Herald, May 6, 2011

May 9 – Midland County extended their burn ban another 90 days due to a dire lack of rainfall in 2011.
NewsWest 9 (Midland), May 9, 2011

May 31 – County Commissioners in Wichita County extended the current burn ban for 90 more days.
Texoma's Home Page, Katie Crosbie, May 31, 2011


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, May 3, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor, May 31, 2011

May 13 – Recent rains in Central Texas have helped with drought conditions in the short term but did little to improve long-term drought conditions.
KVUE (Austin), Andrew Chung, May 13, 2011

May 13 – El Paso is closing in on the all-time record of 109 days without rain, having not seen rain in 100 days.
KFOX (El Paso), Miri Marshall, May 13, 2011

May 15 – A meteorologist with the National Weather Service believes that the current dry spell is the worst in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1920s.
Brownsville Herald, Laura B. Martinez, May 15, 2011

May 22 – Forecasters believe that the upcoming hurricane season could bring as many as 18 named storms to the Atlantic Ocean, and there is hope that tropical systems will provide some much-needed relief during the summer of 2011
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Adam D. Young, May 22, 2011

May 23 – El Paso set a new and dubious record reaching 110 consecutive days without measureable precipitation.
El Paso Times, Alex Hinojosa, May 23, 2011

May 26 – The chief meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority believes the ongoing drought is the worst in Matagorda County in 100 years.
Victoria Advocate, Adriana Acosta, May 26, 2011


May 2 – A cold front that passed through San Angelo brought about half an inch of rain that helped ease concerns about the wildfire danger in the area.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Matthew Waller, May 2, 2011

May 7 – Fire crews in the South Plains battled a large wildfire near Dickens County that had already burned an estimated 30,000 acres.
KCBD (Lubbock), May 7, 2011

May 7 – The Austin Fire Department is doing all they can to prevent wildfires by launching a preparedness campaign aimed at neighborhoods with the highest risk for wildfires.
KVUE (Austin), Steve Alberts, May7, 2011

May 8 – A town hall meetings was set up to prepare Montgomery County residents for wildfires.
KTRK (Houston), May 9, 2011

May 8 – Seventy-five homes near Alpine has to be evacuated after a wildfire threatened to destroy the structures.
NewsWest 9 (Midland), May 9, 2011

May 29 – Windy conditions, the extremely dry ground, and record heat have been fueling wildfires south of Amarillo, with one fire forcing the evacuation of eight homes in its path.
Amarillo Globe-News, Joe Gamm & Terrence Hunley, May 29, 2011

May 29 – Strong winds in Abilene knocked down a power line, which ignited a grass fire on the southwest side of town.
KTXS (Abilene), Casey James, May 29, 2011

Water Supply

May 4 – The Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District Board is considering arguments from many parties on what to do about the current water situation in Fort Stockton.
NewsWest9 (Midland), Geena Martinez, May 4, 2011

May 4 – Residents in the city of Odessa not following the current watering restrictions will be heavily fined.
NewsWest9 (Midland), Victor Lopez, May 4, 2011

May 5 – The Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District declared a stage one drought for Blanco County groundwater users that will continue as long as conditions warrant.
Blanco County News, Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District, May 4, 2011

May 8 – Rio Grande water experts are worried that a current lack of water conservation will leave the river in serious long-term trouble.
El Paso Times, Chris Roberts, May 8, 2011

May 10 – The City of Amarillo is suggesting that residents reduce their water usage to help ease the effects of a dwindling water supply.
KFDA (Amarillo), Angelina Perez, May 10, 2011

May 12 – Almost an inch of rain in the San Antonio area helped provided some drought relief and was enough to raise the Edwards Aquifer monitoring well to a just above the level that requires Stage 2 watering restrictions.
San Antonio Express-News, Eva Ruth Moravec, May 13, 2011

May 13 – The Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District has Stage 4 drought restrictions in place and the prospect of any reduction of these restrictions in the near future looks bleak.
Boerne Star, Candace Velvin, May 13, 2011

May 14 – Recent rains in North Texas have helped area lakes stay at levels that are much better off than lakes across the rest of Texas.
Dallas Morning News, Wendy Hundley, May 14, 2011

May 16 – Although El Paso has not had any rain in 103 days, water conservation efforts have left the city water supply in good shape.
KTSM (El Paso), Stephania Jimenez, May 16, 2011

May 18 – The Brazos Valley's water supply should be sufficient to meet user demand despite the current drought and this is in large part because of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer Group.
KBTX (Bryan), Shel Winkley, May 18, 2011

May 19 – The last seven months been one of the driest stretches ever in the Austin area the Lower Colorado River Authority is worried about the water levels at Lake Travis.
YNN (Austin), Ashley Porter, May 19, 2011

May 22 – The Texas House has passed a bill that gives homeowners an incentive for conserving water.
KWTX (Waco), May, 22, 2011

May 26 – Recent drought conditions have forced the Woodlands Joint Powers Agency to begin the first stages of their drought contingency plan.
Courier of Montgomery County, Howard Roden, May 27, 2011

May 27 – The drought in Victoria has deteriorated to the point that the city has implemented the first stages of its drought contingency plan.
Victoria Advocate, May 27, 2011.

May 27 – The current drought has brought the water level at Lake Greenbelt to 51 feet below normal, the lowest the lake has ever been.
KVII (Amarillo), Matt Hamilton, May 27, 2011.

Agricultural Impacts

May 3 – Texas crop, weather for May 3, 2011: Rain brings some relief, but most of state still experiencing severe or worse drought.
Texas A&M AgriLife, Robert Burns, May 3, 2011

May 5 – A very dry winter that led to the current drought conditions in Central Texas is forcing ranchers to decide whether to continue supplemental feeding or to sell off their livestock.
Killeen Daily Herald, Andy Ross, May 5, 2011

May 5 – The lack of rain is forcing Southeast Texas rice farmers to spend more hours in the fields to ensure soil moisture levels do not become too low.
KFDM (Beaumont), May 5, 2011

May 6 – Drought conditions in El Paso means that there will be a very small pecan season this year.
KTSM (El Paso), Alexa Helms, May 6, 2011

May 10 – Texas crop, weather for May 10, 2011: Crop and forage production 'pretty much shut down'.
Texas A&M AgriLife, Robert Burns, May 10, 2011

May 10 – While the drought has a minimal impact on the day-to-day lives of most Texans, it is having a huge effect on the crops of Texas.
Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger, May 10, 2011

May 11 – Farmers in the South Plains say at least an inch of rain is needed to help their dying dryland crops survive the current season.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Alyssa Dizon, May 11, 2011

May 11 – The Texas Farm Bureau says that if conditions don’t improve this drought could cost farmers and ranchers as much as $4 billion in losses.
KUT (Austin), Nathan Bernier, May 11, 2001

May 13 – Wheat production has been extremely hard hit by the current drought in the Panhandle and irrigation has been the only solution to sustain the crop.
KFDA (Amarillo), Diana Crawford, May 13, 2011

May 14 – Recent rain in Caldwell County has provided temporary drought relief for farmers and ranchers.
YNN (Austin), Russell Wilde, May 14, 2011

May 16 – The fate of crops in the Permian Basin is up in the air because of current drought conditions.
NewsWest9 (Midland), Nick Lawton, May 16, 2011

May 17 – Texas crop, weather for May 17, 2011: Rains green things up, but come too late for small grains.
Texas A&M AgriLife, Robert Burns, May 17, 2011

May 17 – A lack of hay caused by drought conditions is forcing more and more producers to have to sell off their cattle.
KPRC (Houston), May 17, 2011

May 17 – Farmers in Mitchell County do not expect to have a cotton crop this year because of the drought.
KTXS (Abilene), Julie Phillips, May 17, 2011

May 18 – The USDA has decided to allow temporary grazing on seven counties in the South Plains thanks to the Conservation Reserve Program land.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Alyssa Dizon, May 18, 2011

May 19 – Recent rainfall in the Coastal Bend area has helped to save many crops from that otherwise would have been completely lost.
Corpus Christi Caller, Mark Collette, May 19, 2011

May 19 – Brazos Valley farmers and producers have been extremely hard hit during this year’s drought.
KBTX (Bryan), Shel Winkley, May 19, 2011

May 20 – The drought is slowing down cotton crops in the Big Country, where farmers are unlikely to contribute much of anything to an expected record global cotton yield.
Abilene Reporter-News, Jerry Daniel Reed, May 20, 2011

May 23 – The current drought is estimated to have already caused $1.2 billion in losses, including a wheat crop expected to have a value less than half of the previous five-year average.
San Antonio Express-News, William Pack, May 23, 2011

May 24 – Texas crop, weather for May 24, 2011: AgriLife Extension agronomist: Cotton outlook ‘pretty bleak’ in the South Plains.
Texas A&M AgriLife, Robert Burns, May 24, 2011

May 28 – Ranchers believe one of the longer-term effects of the current drought will be a decrease in the amount of calves next season.
Odessa American, Gabriella Lopez, May 29, 2011

May 30 – Dryland cotton crops across the South Plains are being destroyed by the drought, including a normally fertile region northwest of San Angelo.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Jerry Lackey, May 30, 2011

May 31 – Farmers in the Houston area have reported that many of their crops this year are being kept alive solely through irrigation.
KTRK (Houston), Cynthia Cisneros, May 31, 2011

Inclement Weather

May 2 – Utility pole fires caused by light rain on top of a buildup of dust caused a power outage in Washington and Austin counties.
Brenham Banner-Press, May 2, 2011

May 3 – A combination of dust, coast salt build up, and rain caused five power pole top fires in Brazos County.
KBTX, Clay Falls, May 3, 2011

May 3 – The city of Dallas has been ranked as the most likely city in the entire United States to experience a natural disaster based on a study conducted by the New York Times.
KDAF (Dallas/Fort Worth), Daniel Novick, May 3, 2011

May 31 – A recent dust devil in Reynosa had residents worried that a tornado was headed their way.
KRGV (Weslaco), May 31, 2011


May 11 – There were numerous reports of stalled cars in Belton and Killeen as heavy rains turned roadways into moving waterways.
KCEN (Austin), Matthew LeBlanc, May 11, 2011

May 12 – Lady Bird Lake is full of debris and trash after recent rains in the Austin area.
KXAN (Austin), Jarrod Wise, May 12, 2011


May 8 – The Bryan-College Station area set a new high temperature record of 96 degrees, breaking the old record of 93 set back in 2003.
Bryan/College Station Eagle, May 8, 2011

May 28 – While temperatures on the outside approached 110 degrees, the inside of the Taylor County Coliseum kept graduates of Cooper High School cool on their big day.
Abliene Reporter-News, Celinda Emison, May 28, 2011

May 31 – Residents in Abilene are worried that record high temperatures in May might be foreshadowing for a long and very hot summer ahead.
KTXS (Abilene), Julie Phillips, May 31, 2011


May 4 – Nueces County officials have approved a hurricane plan outlining the role of first responders in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.
Corpus Christi Caller, Mary Ann Cavazos, May 4, 2011

May 16 – Galveston is set to help fund the $24 million hurricane 'safe room' that will be a safe haven for emergency responders.
KTRK (Houston), May 16, 2011

May 19 – Experts say that this year will be a busy hurricane season for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.
Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger, May 19, 2011

May 19 – Brownsville is preparing for a busy hurricane season, with most local residents having memories of Hurricane Dolly in 2008 fresh in their minds.
KGBT (Harlingen), Jonathan Weant, May 19, 2011

May 21 – Nearly two years after Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage in the Montgomery County city of Magnolia, hurricane victims are receiving their new homes from the government.
Tomball Community Impact, May 21, 2011

Severe Weather

May 1 – A recent severe storm in the Northeast Texas brought damaging winds, marble-sized hail, and heavy rains to Hughes Springs.
KLTV (Longview), Bob Hallmark, May 1, 2011

May 12 – Austin Energy reported that 11,500 customers were left without power after a thunderstorm rolled through Central Texas.
KUT (Austin), Nathan Bernier, May 12, 2011

May 12 – After many months without significant rainfall, a severe thunderstorm hit the Victoria area, downing power lines but causing no other significant damage.
Victoria Advocate, May 12, 2011

May 16 – Firefighters in Johnson County believe lightning started a fire in Bono that destroyed a two-story home.
Cleburne Times-Review, Matt Smith, May 16, 2011

May 18 – Residents in Abilene will have a long wait to get their homes and cars repaired after a recent hail storm.
KTXS (Abilene), Roger Mares, May 18, 2011

May 20 – A recent storm that hit Northwest Texas dropped 1.25 inches of rain in Wichita Falls, which nearly matched the paltry 1.95 inches that was the previous 2011 year-to-date precipitation total.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Kristen Duwe, May 20, 2011

May 21 – A tornado touched down in the Central Texas town of Evant, which knocked down trees and street signs and blew the roof off a firehouse.
KCEN (Austin), May 21, 2011

May 22 – A severe thunderstorm passing through Burnet County dropped baseball sized hail, before spawning a tornado that caused damage to half a dozen homes in Williamson County.
KXAN (Austin), Jacqueline Ingles, May 22, 2011

May 24 – Lightning sparked a fire in Denton County that caused $5,000 in damage to a two-story home in The Colony.
Colony Courier Leader, Blaine Crimmins, May 24, 2011

May 25 – Around 39,000 residents were left without power after a severe storm ripped through Dallas; the same storm produced lightning that struck a police officer.
KWTX (Waco), May 25, 2011

May 25 – An apartment complex in Irving suffered damage after a severe storm dropped golf ball size hail in the area.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Jim Douglas, May 25, 2011

May 26 – The National Weather Service confirmed that nine tornadoes ripped through North Texas on May 24th, the strongest an EF-1 tornado that went through Irving.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Jim Douglas, May 26, 2011

May 27 – A thunderstorm that produced two tornadoes left some minor damage in the Rowlett area caused by high winds and marble-sized hail.
Mesquite Community Editor, Zach Markovic, May 27, 2011

May 30 – A National Weather Service meteorologist believes straight line winds, and not a tornado, were to blame for damage by a recent thunderstorm in Tarrant County.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 30, 2011

Other Climate Impacts

Air/Water Quaity

May 4 – Amarillo ranked in the top ten in a recent study for cleanest metropolitan areas based on the average level of fine particulates.
Amarillo Globe-News, Kevin Welch, May 4, 2011

Animals/Aquatic Life

May 1 – The current drought is causing problems for the Gypsy Heart Horse Ranch in Lubbock.
KCBD (Lubbock), Emily Black, May 1, 2011

May 6 – A Houston home was taken captive by around 200,000 bees, a problem that originated because drought conditions have dried up most available water supplies.
KTRK (Houston), Jeff Ehling, May 6, 2011

May 6 – As small lakes have begun to dry up because of the drought, more and more snakes are being seen in the Houston area.
KRIV (Houston), May 6, 2011

May 7 – Wildlife experts say that dwindling water supplies due to drought lead to greater wildlife losses than those attributed directly to wildfires.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Steve Byrns, May 7, 2011

May 7 – More than two years after Hurricane Ike struck Southeast Texas, wildlife has begun to return to state parks and national wildlife refuges.
Houston Chronicle, Cindy Horswell, May 7, 2011

May 9 – Vets in the San Antonio area say that the ongoing drought will likely lead to an outbreak of flea infestations.
KSAT (San Antonio), May 9, 2011

May 9 – More than 60 wild animals in the Houston area are being cared for by the Wildlife Center of Texas because of dehydration and starvation due to the widespread drought conditions.
KHOU (Houston), May 9, 2011

May 14 – Low water levels may be to blame for the death of hundreds of bait-sized fish in Southwest Lubbock.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Adam D. Young, May 14, 2011

May 15 – Kerrville officials say that a rabies outbreak can be blamed on the current drought and lack of water available to the wildlife.
KENS (San Antonio), Joe Conger, May 15, 2011

May 17 – A girl in Conroe was struck by a Copperhead snake and experts believe the snake was in the residential area looking for water.
Conroe Courier, Brad Meyer, May 17, 2011

May 28 – The Wildlife Rescue in Austin has responded to more calls than ever about injured and sick wildlife because of the drought.
KXAN (Austin), Heather Gillett, May 28, 2011


May 25 – Roofers in the Parker County city of Willow Park are very busy after a hail storm caused widespread damage in the area.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Jason Whitely, May 25, 2011


May 1 – If the drought does not come to an end soon, crawfish prices could see substantial increases in the Houston area.
KHOU (Houston), Gabe Gutierrez, May 1, 2011

May 1 – Insurance adjusters are dealing with a number of claims in Carrollton after thunderstorms dropped hail that caused extensive damage to vehicles.
KDAF (Dallas/Fort Worth), Charles Bassett, May 1, 2011

May 9 – The city of Abilene is hoping that residents use local businesses when repairing their hail-damaged vehicles and homes.
KTXS (Abilene), Jacquline Hince, May 9, 2011

May 10 – The current drought has actually been a positive for landscape and pest control businesses.
KHOU (Houston), Alex Sanz, May 10, 2011

May 14 – If widespread, substantial rains do not fall soon, Texas ranchers say they will not be able to raise more cattle, which will cause beef prices to increase and will increase the price of cattle.
KXAS (Dallas/Fort Worth), Andrew Tanielian, May 14, 2011

May 29 – The Texas governor might call a special session if the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association does not come to an agreement on protecting the areas that are prone to wind and hurricane damage.
Houston Chronicle, May 29, 2011


May 27 – Gardening experts advise to increase the amount of watering and irrigation at each application and not to increase the frequency of watering during drought conditions.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Allison Watkins, May 27, 2011


May 15 – Weather conditions that were less than ideal for fishing did not stop the University of Oklahoma fishing team from wining the College Fishing Texas Division Event on Lake Texoma.
FLW Outdoors, Jeff McCoy, May 15, 2011

May 21 – Wildlife experts expect the drought to lead to a lack in quality and quantity of deer for next year’s hunting season.
Lubbock Journal-Avalanche, Will Leschper, May 21, 2011

May 29 – “Pitiful” range conditions will greet newly-born wildlife, which will struggle to survive in an environment with reduced vegetation.
Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, May 29, 2011


May 11 – The Texas Rangers game against the Oakland Athletics in Arlington was delayed because of heavy thunderstorms, essentially wiping out the 7-0 lead the Rangers built over the first four innings.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Josh Davis, May 11, 2011

May 20 – The Crown Plaza Colonial Golf Tournament in Fort Worth was delayed in the afternoon of the second round due to thunderstorms.
KXAS (Dallas/Fort Worth), Chris Van Horne, May 20, 2011

May 21 – Marathoners were forced to deal with temperatures near 80 degrees and high humidity levels while running the Beach to Bay Relay in Corpus Christi.
Corpus Christi Caller, Mike Baird, May 21, 2011

May 24 – Golf ball-sized hail and heavy rains forced a hasty evacuation of fans during the Texas Rangers game in Arlington.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Craig Civale, May 24, 2011

May 25 – Roughly 4000 divots caused by hail had to be repaired before golfers could begin their round at the Pro Am at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Dallas Morning News, Bill Nichols, May 25, 2011

May 28 – A hail storm that hit Dallas damaged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's planes and forced the team to borrow a plane from the Phoenix Suns.
Dallas Morning News, Eddie Sefko, May 28, 2011

May 30 – To beat the triple-digit heat, many Central Texas residents hit the Comal River to cool off.
KGNB (New Braunfels), May 30, 2011


May 2 – Much-needed rain in the Dallas area caused several accidents during the morning commute.
KDFW (Dallas/Fort Worth), May 2, 2011

May 23 – A rain-slicked road is to blame for car losing control, smashing into five other vehicles, and ending up in a Fort Worth restaurant.
KDFW (Dallas/Fort Worth), May 2, 2011

May 26 – American Airlines was forced to cancel 200 flights because of hail damage to planes at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Houston Chronicle, May 26, 2011

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