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Drought/Burn Bans/Fire Hazards

Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through June 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, May 1, 2012
U.S. Drought Monitor, May 29, 2012

Even though Abilene is nearly two inches above normal in rainfall, leaders warn that the drought is far from over and the area can still use more rainfall to make up for last year’s terrible drought.
Abilene Reporter-News, Brennan K. Peel, May 11, 2012

The new map by the U.S. Drought Monitor reports that less than 2% of the state is listed under the worst stage of drought.
KTRK (Houston), May 17, 2012

The drought is still on for the Wichita Falls area as the areas watershed sits at 53% combined capacity, while very little rain has fallen to fill any of the stressed lakes in the area.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Lynn Walker, May 22, 2012

The past year’s substantial drought had legislatures looking into new water management policy, but as the drought fades in the most populated regions of the state many say that important legislation may be put off.
Houston Chronicle, Matthew Tresaugue, May 22, 2012


The Houston area is set for another difficult wildfire season as heat is expected to come back this summer.
Houston Chronicle, Cindy Horswell, May 10, 2012

A wildfire outside of Pilot Point burned over 600 acres and forced several evacuations.
KXII (Sherman), Victoria Maranan, May 23, 2012

Wildfires were sparked by thunderstorms across Archer, Wichita, and Clay Counties late on Tuesday night as storms rolled though with substantial lightning and little rainfall.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Chris Collins, May 30, 2012

Water Supply

The Tarrant Regional Water District lifted it’s stage 1 water restrictions after plentiful rainfall has refilled many reservoirs, but watering is still restricted in between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, May 4, 2012

The city of Alvorado will begin it’s drought conservation program to conserve water as the drought continues.
Cleburne Times-Review, May 8, 2012

Representative Tan Parker urges residents to still conserve water despite the recent rainfall through the Texas Water Smart consumer awareness campaign.
Flower Mound Leader, Tan Parker, May 9, 2012

The city of Victoria entered Stage One drought restrictions on May 2nd limiting outdoor watering. This is due to the low water levels on the Guadalupe River.
Brownsville Herald, Jennifer Sourdellia, May 13, 2012

The Permian Basin has been given a lifeline the past few months with all the rain received across the area. Rainfall has risen the water table and soil moisture content, but experts warn that with reservoir levels still so low the drought is far from over.
NewsWest 9 (Midland), Nick Lawton, May 15, 2012

The city of Amarillo is giving an incentive to conserve water by providing funds for homeowners who install and use rain barrels for their homes.
KFDA (Amarillo), Diana Crawford, May 23, 2012

The city of Juarez, like El Paso, is struggling to meet water demands in the current drought and has urged residents to conserve water until the rains come.
El Paso Times, Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera, May 28, 2012

The North Texas Municipal Water District will return to stage two water restrictions for the months of June, July, August, and September. This is due to the dry conditions which occur over the summer months as well as the inability to use water from Lake Texoma.
Rowlett Lakeshore Times, May 28, 2012


Agricultural Impacts

Recent showers have delayed the harvesting of the winter wheat crop.
KTXS (Abilene), Chelsea Humphrey, May 14, 2012

Higher than average rainfall and temperatures have caused farmers to regain hope of a better yield this season. East Texas Farmers have seen better growth already in hay, produce, and other crops as the drought seems to have loosened it’s grip.
Longview News-Journal, Jessica Ferguson, May 14, 2012

Rainfall over the next few months is the only thing that will ensure a successful crop this season. Farmers have already planted more cotton in preparation for the upcoming dry season and hope yield will be good.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Ellysa Gonzalez, May 15, 2012

Vineyards in the Big Country struggled through last year’s drought but things are now looking up as rains have begun to fall.
KRBC (Abilene), Nora Hartfeil, May 21, 2012


Inclement Weather


Heavy storms dropped 1.04 inches of rain on San Angelo prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Warning. The San Angelo Fire Department responded to nine high water rescues in the city due to flooding.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Laurel L. Scott, May 7, 2012

Upwards of five inches of rain fell in Hinney causing flooding all across the city closing a new Super 8 Motel and damaging Mary Harper Middle School.
KENS (San Antonio), James Muñoz, May 11, 2012


The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association forecasts a very warm summer ahead for the south and the west with temperatures ranging between 1 and 2 degrees above normal.
Houston Chronicle, Seth Borenstein, May 17, 2012

The Beach to Bay Marathon Relay was plagued with heat exhaustion as 1,050 participants were treated during the event. The marathon featured temperatures in the mid 80’s with high humidity mostly clear skies.
Corpus Christi Caller, Mike Baird, May 19, 2012

The Southeast Texas Region is on track to set an all-time heat record with many major cities recording record heat for the year.
Baytown Sun, May 21, 2012

Amarillo charitable organizations are worried about the heat expected for this summer and are collecting air conditioning and fan donations for underprivileged residents.
Amarillo Globe-News, Brittany Nunn, May 23, 2012

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Warning for all of South Texas as high temperatures along with high humidity will drive the heat index into the mid to upper 100’s.
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen), May 29, 2012


Houston Transtar placed 15 emergency billboards across the region with the purpose of alerting citizens to impending emergencies, just in time for hurricane season.
KTRK (Houston), Katie McCall, May 14, 2012

The National Hurricane Center in Miami released a statement that says it is expecting between 9 and 15 named storms this season.
Houston Chronicle, Jennifer Kay, May 24, 2012

Severe Weather

A small but intense thunderstorm caused around 3,000 power outages across Austin as lightning caused transformer failures.
Austin American-Statesman, Farzad Mashhood, May 6, 2012

Tornado-like winds caused damage in Weimar overnight as a train was flipped of the tracks and a school and hospital sustained damage.
KVUE (Austin), May 10, 2012

A round of severe storms passed across the Houston Metro area prompting the National Weather Service to issue several Severe Thunderstorm warnings.
KHOU (Houston), May 11, 2012

Several Tornados touched down in Cameron County early in the morning as severe storms roared across South Texas. No damage was reported, but the area did experience torrential rainfall and power outages.
The Brownsville Herald, Laura B. Martinez, May 11, 2012

A batch of strong storms moved across North Texas overnight causing power outages and breaking off tree limbs across the region. Most of the damage reports were located west of the DFW Metroplex.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Terry Evans, May 29, 2012

Memorial day this year will be remembered for powerful storms across the Big Country as straight-line winds caused damage in many communities.
KTAB (Abilene), Natalie Ferrari, May 30, 2012

Early in the morning storms rolled through the area causing power outages and damage across the DFW area.
WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth), Marjorie Owens, May 30, 2012


Other Climate Impacts


The severe storms that slammed DFW on April 3rd have been estimated to have caused over $600 million in damaged property.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Patrick M. Walker, May 4, 2012

Businesses in Lubbock are attempting to reduce water usage through drought resistant landscaping and new LEED building designs.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Brittany Hoover, May 4, 2012

El Paso County has banned all aerial fireworks due to the drought causing many fireworks vendors to be out thousands of dollars.
KFOX (El Paso), Renee Narviz, May 21, 2012

The Austin Community Foundation donated $830,000 to nine non-profit charities to help with the victims of last Septembers wildfires.
Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo Gandara, May 21, 2012

An intense hailstorm that struck McAllen on March 29th was estimated to have caused $200 million in damages.
KGBT (Harlingen), Brett Crandall, May 23, 2012


The Christi Memorial Ceremony will be postponed this year because the drought makes it uncertain whether or not planted trees will survive
Austin American-Statesman, Andrea Ball, May 5, 2012

The Texas Forestry Service has begun an initiative to see exactly how many trees were claimed by the drought of 2011 by canvassing many places across the state and doing an extensive count of dead trees.
KETK (Tyler), May 14, 2012


Park attendance at Texas State Parks has increased with the rainfall as lake levels fill and greenery returns to the landscape.
Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, May 2, 2012

A rain delay occurred for both TCU and UTA on Friday night.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 4, 2012

Strong winds with gusts up to 30 mph were a constant factor for the competitors in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, but golfer Zach Johnson did not let the wind keep him from victory.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jimmy Burch, May 24, 2012

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