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Burn Bans/Fire

County-wide burn bans through June 1

Wildfires close Tampa Bay-area nature preserve, highways -- Nature preserves and portions of highways throughout the Tampa Bay-area are being shut down due to large wildfires. Voluntary evacuations are also being called for in other parts of the county to ensure safety. Three brush fires had burned approximately 200 acres near the highway.
WCTV, Staff Writer, May 7, 2017

Lightning sparks fire at Texas oil plant, forces evacuations -- Residents in Chambers County were forced to evacuate in the morning hours of Friday after lighting during a thunderstorm struck crude oil tankers at a nearby plant. The lightning strike sparked a fire that began around 3 a.m. according to officials. The fire was contained by 7 a.m. and residents were able to return home thereafter. No injuries were reported from this incident and air quality sensors have been set up as a precaution.
KHOU, Dalia Ibrahim, May 12, 2017

AFD: Lightning strike sparks attic fire near Del Valle-- Storms rolling through the Central Texas area on Sunday lead to an attic fire caused by lightning in Austin, Texas. The Austin Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, which was confined to the attic, after about 20 minutes and the scene was under control. None of the residents in the home were displaced, though the fire did cause an extensive and expensive amount of damage to the home.
KXAN, Jerry Becker, May 21, 2017

Lightning strike ignites fire at Woodlands apartment complex--Lightning from severe thunderstorms overnight sparkked a fire that destroyed at least eight apartments in the Woodlands. When firefighters tried to reach the fire of one building, the roof collapsed. Four other apartments had smoke and water damage. Several of those apartment residents were out of town for the Memorial Day weekend, and no one was injured. Several lightning strikes were reported in Montgomery County at the time of the fire.
The Woodlands Patch, Bryan Kirk, May 29, 2017


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, May 2, 2017
U.S. Drought Monitor, May 30, 2017

How good is the U.S. Drought Monitor’s news for Texas? -- As of May 2nd 91.38 percent of the state is drought free with only 1.44 percent in moderate drought. This is stark contrast to September 2011 drought conditions in which 85 percent of Texas in exceptional drought. Widespread drought is not a fear expected for Texas going into the summer and fall, and the state is nearly drought-free despite going through the warmest first four months of the year on record. Cooler and wetter than normal conditions are also expected by some forecasters anticipating an El Nino pattern to form in the Pacific this fall.
Weather Watch, Staff Writer, May 9, 2017

Texas could be droughtless by the end of May TWDB says -- The Texas Water Development Board suggests that the State of Texas could end the month of May with no areas of drought. Currently, only one percent of the state is in a state of drought, though a new area of moderate drought has begun to form in the area in Northern Texas where total rainfall has been less than half of its normal over the past 60 days. The region normally receives about 5 inches a rain during this month. Meteorologist forecast storms in the next few days to bring close to an inch of rain to the area.
Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, May 10, 2017

Dry month of May leads to moderate drought in parts of north Texas--
Recent rainfall has greatly reduced drought conditions across the state. Despite the 0.17 inches of rain recorded over Memorial Day weekend, north Texas still remains nearly four inches below average for the month of May. Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton counties are among the counties experiencing abnormally dry conditions in the region. However the statewide drought level has decreased by 4% since last week.
NBC DFW, Frank Heinz, May 30, 2017


Cold front raises concerns about wheat crop – Conditions were acceptable for crop growth in the week ending April 30th, though the passage of a strong cold front during the weekend which lowered temperatures substantially and brought irregular heavy snow to areas in West Texas and the Panhandle have caused concern for crop growers. Winter wheat conditions were rated 78 percent (fair to good) while current conditions are at 74 percent (2 points down from the previous week). This decrease in growth assurance has raised some concern though future forecasts appear to be acceptable for production.
High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, Staff Writer, May 2, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report -- May 2 -- Bermuda grass production practices are being diversified throughout the state as the sprigs are establishing some varieties, such as Coastal and Tifton 85. Herbicide application is a very important technique required for successful production and must be done at correct seasonal periods. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olsion recommends two herbicide applications, one in the fall and one in the spring before Bermuda sprigs are introduced to ensure elimination of any competing vegetation.
AgriLife Today, Adam Russell, May 2, 2017

Lightning Strike Kills 32 Dairy Cows -- A Texas County farmer is experiencing emotional and financial stress after an intense lightning strike killed 32 of his cows on Saturday. The cows were reportedly piled on top each other when found on Saturday, initially huddling up together to get out of the rain. Emotional trauma from losing these cows is immense, though financial stress may be greater. Each cow was worth at least $2,000 each and the amount covered by the farmer’s insurance plan is not yet known. Meat from these cows was unsalvageable due to the intensity of the strike and duration of time they were left unattended.
WOKV, Michelle Ewing, May 3, 2017

Weather Ugly, Cattle Markets Great -- Farmers are seeing an increase in cattle crop prices after being hit hard by severe weather events. Snow and heavy rain-induced flooding occurred in many areas across the Midwest and South this late winter and early spring, along with an unusual blizzard in April that brought 15 to 18 inches of snow in the Central Plains. These weather conditions led to the closing of many farm-to-market roads and hampered cattle movement to auctions. Many sought to purchase replacement cattle stock to fill empty pen space, thus leading to high cattle crop prices.
Drovers, Greg Henderson, May 5, 2017

Market Forecaster: Dry weather ahead could bring time to sell corn -- This week, corn sold 6 cents higher than the last week and farmers are now beginning to look towards selling their harvests. Weekly ethanol production demand has increased over the past week thus incentivizing corn farmers. The growing season began with a wet start failing to inspire a meaningful rally, though a dry and warm forecast for the remainder of the month and extending into June has given producers the best opportunity to make sales as prices surge with this continued weather pattern.
Tri-State Neighbor, Brian Hoops, May 8, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report -- May 9 -- Pest populations are rising throughout the state. Due to the unusually warm start to the year, many pests were able to emerge earlier than normal, though their populations and how long they last will depend on the weather to come. If relatively mild temperatures and steady rains associated with cold fronts continue insects such as mosquitoes and horn flies have the opportunity to increase their population size. The persistence of hot and arid conditions would drive these pests away though bring out species such as grasshoppers which can be detrimental to many crops.
AgriLife, Adam Russell, May 9, 2017

Pest populations ramping up around the state -- Many entomologists across the state are in consensus that pest populations are on the rise. Pests emerged relatively early this year due to the irregular weather conditions, and the intensity and period of growth will be dependent on weather to come. Entomologists are also warning farmers to be on the lookout for any pests near crops as populations are able to build a rapid pace. Combination sprays are being advised to farmers to deal with potential bollworm, stink bug, sugarcane aphid, and mite infestations to crops.
Waco Tribune-Herald, Adam Russell, May 13, 2017

Spring Weather Events Cause Devastation and Planting Delays -- Unusual late winter and spring weather have devastating impacted crops and other farming areas across the United States. Parts of Texas experienced a combination of severe flooding, blizzard conditions, and tornadoes during both of the aforementioned seasons. Some of the most damaging impacts are related to the Henderson and Van Zandt county tornadoes, which impacted 1,500 farms according to the County Emergency Boards for these counties. Some of the damage from these storms includes the destruction of livestock fences, damage to machinery, equipment, and farms, as well as damage to country roads and bridges. It has been estimated that approximately 900 heads of cattle were killed and nearly 5,000 homes destroyed.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dana Rogge, May 15, 2017

Texas Crop and Weather Report -- May 16 -- According to the State of Texas Climatologist, the current higher-than average temperatures could be a sign of impending summer conditions. March temperatures were approximately 6 degrees higher than normal. With some cool days during the first part of May, the average has been some what reduced to 2-3 degrees warmer than usual. If the soil were not to be replenished, the state may see regions of increased drought conditions. Summertime forecasts are difficult to make with the jet stream moving north, though precipitation forecasts aren’t that optimistic for the season for regions outside of the panhandle and North Texas. Even these areas won’t provide enough relief to bring temperatures to normal.
AgriLife Today, Adam Russell, May 16, 2017

Significant Weather


Good Samaritans reunite with family rescued from Texas floodwaters – Areas in Myrtle Springs, Texas saw intense flooding conditions due to the strong thunderstorms producing torrential downpours. This area in Van Zandt County had just been battered by four tornadoes taking lives the previous week. Two Good Samaritans saved lives by rescuing a family’s trapped children in a car nearly washed away by the floodwaters. By fighting against the current of the floodwater to open the vehicle’s doors, both children were rescued.
ABC News, Staff Writer, May 2, 2017

National Weather Service: Another 2-4 inches of rain coming -- National Weather Service officials anticipate frontal passages to move into the
Texas County area late at night and in the early morning hours of Tuesday. With these fronts, strong storms are expected to develop bringing nearly 2-4 inches of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. Grounds are presently very saturated so flooding possibilities are enhanced. The Jacks Fork, Big Piney, and Gasconade rivers are anticipated to overflow and affect nearby areas. The NWS is also cautioning nearby residents that strong winds, widespread lightning, and possibly hail are also expected.
Houston Herald, Staff Writer, May 2, 2017

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for SE Texas counties -- Strong thunderstorms and showers are developing in southeastern Texas and will continue to move through the area during evening hours until a cold clear the coast. A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for 17 southeastern Texas counties as heavy downpours, hail, lightning, and strong winds are possible. Fair weather is expected beginning Thursday and into the weekend.
KPRC, Staff Writer, May 3, 2017

Windmill Country: Notes from all over -- Regions of north and southeast Texas have received up to 2 inches of rain over the past couple of weeks with some isolated reports observing 5 inches. West Texas regions are still waiting for a decent amount of rainfall as compared to other areas of the state. The weather conditions from earlier this year and currently in the spring have been helpful for some crops throughout the state, but have been harmful to other such as the peach crop. Horticulture experts are expecting a poor peach crop reap due to the mild conditions where. The Central Texas region had the warmest winter in 22 growing seasons, a detrimental occurrence for crops such as peach and others where chilly temperatures are needed for bud setting or less fruit will form on varieties.
Abilene Reporter-News, Jerry Lackey, May 15, 2017

Scattered showers replace threats of severe weather in Dallas-Fort Worth -- Calmer conditions are on the way for North Texas after almost continuous severe weather the past few days. Forecasters are expecting temperatures in the high 70s with calm skies and small chance of rain showers on Saturday night. Temperatures will begin to drop to the low 60s in the evening hours as rain may be produced to the south of the DFW metroplex. The cold front associated with potentially severe weather that passed through brought a tornado that touched down briefly near Crowell, 75 miles west of Wichita Falls.
The Dallas Morning News, Liz Farmer & Tom Steele, May 19, 2017

First Alert: Heavy rainfall threatens south and central Texas-- The possibility of scattered showers and strong storms are forecasted for areas of South and Central Texas beginning in the early Sunday afternoon. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service are anticipating heavy rains to last through at least the early hours of Monday with high areas of concern being Interstate 10 and the western portions of Interstate 35. Severe weather with the capability of golf ball-sized hail, wind gusts up to 60 mph, and total rainfall of 1-2 inches is forecasted to be just south of San Antonio, though some areas may see upwards of 4 inches of rain through Monday.
KENS5, Staff Writer, May 21, 2017

Flash Flood watches cover parts of 6 southern states -- Six southern states expected to receive torrential downpours to areas of recently saturated lands have been issued flash flood watches by the National Weather Service. Some regions saw nearly 8 inches of rain over the past weekend, and many of the flash flood watch areas are expected to receive at least 5 or so additional inches. The strongest storms have begun to roll through southeast Texas and Louisiana early on Monday.
KTRE, Staff Writer, May 22, 2017

Muggy with isolated showers for Texas Memorial weekend-- A weather system on its way to the southern United States is expected to be favorable for unstable weather conditions this Memorial Day weekend. The jet stream is beginning to migrate south which may lead to upper level winds that drive a storm formation for parts of the south central United States. This jet configuration along with a high-pressure system over western states will lead to sunny and very warm conditions for those areas. Isolated showers are forecasted for the coming weekend with progressive cooling into Monday leading to more mild conditions.
The Weather Network, Mario Picazo, May 25, 2017

Friday update on holiday weekend weather-- Forecasters are anticipating the formation of thunderstorms Saturday evening along a stalled dryline in West Texas. Storm systems are expected to form in that region throughout Saturday evening and Sunday with scattered showers and storms following the path of a cold front. There is a small chance that the cold front may stall leading to torrential downpours and flooding in whatever region this may occur.
Spectrum News, Burton Fitzsimmons, May 26, 2017

Heightened flood risk across Texas with heavy rain ahead-- Storm systems developing throughout Texas this week will be bringing a high risk of heavy rain showers for the workweek. Widespread areas are expected to see rainfall amounts upwards of four inches. A stationary frontal boundary over the southeastern part of Texas will increase total rainfall accumulation for the region with some thunderstorms having the potential to strengthen to severe across the Gulf Coast. The frontal boundary is expected to linger into Tuesday with scattered showers throughout the southern US.
The Weather Network, Staff Writer, May 27, 2017

C. Texas rivers reopen after weather threat; chances for storms expected to pick up Wednesday--Chances for rain and thunderstorms in San Antonio are expected to pick up as the week progresses. A 30% chance of rainfall exists from Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening, but an upper-level disturbance bringing rain and scattered thunderstorms could move through Bexar County Wednesday. The primary weather threats will be rain showers and possible isolated flooding.
San Antonio Express-News, Caleb Downs, May 29, 2017

Texas to face renewed threat of downpours, flooding at midweek--The chance of thunderstorms exists due to ample Gulf moisture through Thursday for parts of Texas that experienced heavy rainfall and flooding over the holiday weekend. Rainfall amounts between one and two inches will be common with localized higher amounts. Motorists are cautioned to be careful as parts of interstates 10, 20, 27, 35, and 40 will be under threat of heavy rainfall.
AccuWeather, Renee Duff, May 30, 2017

Insidious but overlooked: Back-bay flooding plagues millions--Back-bay flooding, or inundation of waterfront areas behind barrier islands where wind and tides create flooding on any given day, tends to be overlooked. Back-bay flooding rises gradually unlike oceanfront flooding. The effect is worsened during storms that continue through numerous tide cycles. Destruction of wetlands for development along shorelines is partly to blame for the back-bay flooding in susceptible neighborhoods.
Beaumont Enterprise, Wayne Parry, May 30, 2107

Parts of Throckmorton, Texas Evacuated Due to Flooding -- Areas in north-central Texas saw heavy amounts of rainfall on Friday, with some areas seeing flash flooding. Nearly one dozen homes and a prominent business in the town of Throckmorton were heavily flooded, with 15 other homes being evacuated and all roads in the town closing. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the town after nearly 9 inches of rain fell in the town during the morning hours and into the afternoon. Meteorologist are reporting that this detrimental rain event was due to a stagnant low-pressure system over Texas with a large abundance of moisture.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin, May 31, 2017

Warm Weather

April continues string of weirdly hot Austin weather – Though this April was only the 15th-hottest April on record for Austin, a handful of days during this month were highly remarkable. According to National Weather Service data, average temperatures during April were 83 degrees with four of the final days of the month being 90 degrees or higher with heat indices above 100 degrees. Austin’s April has also been exceptionally dry as rainfall was only 1.02 inches (half the normal). This April follows the hottest March on record, and hottest three-month start to the year ever.
Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, May 2, 2017

This year on pace to be among Texas’ hottest - if not the hottest -- Austin’s temperatures are about 1.7 degrees warmer than the next-warmest year (2006) up to this point in 2017. The average temperature for Austin at this point in the year is also 5.9 degrees above average. Overall Texas temperatures are approximately 1.3 degrees warmer than the next-warmest start of a year and 5.3 above the overall normal. According to the National Weather Service, if temperatures were to run about 1.3 degrees above the average for the rest of the year, Texas would break the record for hottest year.
Austin American-Statesman, Marty Toohey, May 5, 2017

KTXS Forecast: Above normal temperatures return Saturday -- In the morning of Friday, Abilene saw near record low temperatures at 42 degrees (41 degrees is record) along with light winds and sunny skies forecasted for later in the afternoon. South winds returning to the area will keep low temperatures near 50 throughout the weekend. Above average temperatures in the upper 80s are expected for Northwestern Texas on Sunday and into the beginning of the week, with a relief Thursday as a cold front is forecasted.
KTXS, Mark Rowlett, May 5, 2017

Allergic To North Texas? Here’s Why -- Springtime in Texas is a month of aggravation for many sufferers of allergies. Plants in North Texas pollinate nearly year-round due to the continuous mild and warm weather. Pollination of grass, a very aggravating plant, will occur in April and May leading to many reports of uncomfortable conditions. “Pollen counters” have been developed to better understand pollen patterns and how to treat patients such as the Burkhart Spore Trap. Medications, face masks, and other essential oils are being used to combat irritation.
CBS DFW, Aparna Zalani, May 11, 2017

Hot Memorial Day weekend ahead-- High temperatures and humidity are on the way for the Central Texas region beginning Friday afternoon. Meteorologists are observing a southerly wind pattern bringing in moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The additional moisture in the air will force an increase in temperatures of approximately 5 to 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature reading. Some areas in Central Texas may see heat indices over 100 degrees throughout the weekend. Isolated severe weather is another threat that may be anticipated due to the warm and moist conditions.
KXXV, Jeff Forgeron, May 26, 2017

Hot weather, thunderstorms in the forecast for rest of Memorial Day weekend--Hot and humid weather this week will bring the possibility of severe storms overnight. On Sunday, heat index values will be in the low 100s before a cold front brings some showers and thunderstorms. The possibility of damaging, gusty winds and large hail exist. The front will bring one to two inches of rain with localized amounts as high as four inches Monday.
Houston Chronicle, Keri Blakinger, May 28, 2017

Cool Weather

Cold front moves storms across North Texas -- As a cold front moved storms across North Texas early Wednesday, hail and damaging winds were expected to be the main threats. The tornado risk is low for this day though an isolated tornado for eastern parts of the DFW metroplex is not being ruled out. These storms are expected to move out of the area by the evening. Strong wind gusts are expected and a wind advisory has been put into effect from 1 pm to 8 pm.
WFAA, Greg Fields, May 3, 2017

Calm Stretch of Weather Forecast for Central Texas -- The Central Texas region is expecting a period of calm and mild weather after multiple days of storms throughout the past week. A cold front that brought strong and severe storms in the past week has now left behind cooler and breezy weather where highs will range between the low and mid 70s, while lows are expected to drop into the 40s and 50s. Over the coming week and into the weekend a high pressure system will form over the Southern Plains, leading to warmer temperatures. These conditions are expected to continue with a slight chance of storms next week.
KXXV, Meteorologist Jeff Forgeron, May 4, 2017

Severe Weather

Texas begins rebuilding after weekend of deadly tornadoes – East Texas residents are in the process of extensive emotional and structural rebuilding after the expansive destruction caused by the four tornadoes tore through Van Zandt County. Two of these tornadoes were EF-0 while the other two were EF-3 as determined by National Weather Service damage surveys. Winds were observed to be up to 165 mph during these storms. As four people lost their lives, 80 seriously injured, and the extensive nature of the destruction, the county has been issued a disaster declaration.
Fox News, Will Car, May 1, 2017

Mile-wide path of destruction left by East Texas twister – Preliminary reports released by the National Weather Service discuss the significant enormity of the Van Zandt County tornadoes’ paths. One of the biggest tornadoes during the series that traveled from Henderson to Hopkins left a path of destruction nearly a mile wide. This tornado left the largest footprint, travelling for more than 50 miles with observed peak winds near 130 mph.
KXAN News, Staff Writer, May 1, 2017

45 people saved from tornado’s fury in hallway of Texas church -- Insurance companies denote uncontrollable events such as tornadoes the term, “act of God”, but a congregation in Emory, Texas considers their survival of this dangerous storm an “act of God”. Some 45 members gathered in the church for a celebration though had to find refuge in the building as a tornado tore through the town and took out almost all of the church except the hallway for which they were seeking shelter. This remarkable event was an antithesis of the deadly storms that took the lives of nearly 13 people across three states.
Catholic News Service, Mark Pattison, May 1, 2017

Texas Woman Survives Deadly Canton Tornado by Sheltering Inside Destroyed Car Dealership -- A woman returning home to Dallas from a baby shower in Louisiana was left without options Saturday evening and found refuge at a car dealership in Canton, Texas. She and her boyfriend sheltered in their car at the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership off the I-20 exit with little hope of survival when the EF-3 tornado was passing. Many of the unsold cars in the dealership parking lot were damaged by debris or lifted into the air and smashed to the ground by the storm. Though the tornado nearly completely destroyed the dealership, neither the woman nor her boyfriend was injured.
The Weather Channel, Sean Breslin, May 2, 2017

Tornadoes Prompt New Resolve to Get Prepared -- After the destruction caused by the Van Zandt County tornadoes, many North Texas residents are considering procedures and home improvements that can be made to better protect against disaster when similar storms threaten lives and infrastructure. Agencies such as “KnoWhat2Do” are providing storm plan templates for families and suggesting companies that may help with storm shelter building. The North Texas Council is also encouraging residents to sign up for the “tornado shelter rebate program” to receive grants for home shelter building.
CBS DFW, Robbie Owens, May 2, 2017

Strong winds all that remain of Wednesday weather in North Texas -- Threats of severe weather are no longer prevalent for Dallas-Fort Worth and further east counties on Wednesday. A frontal passage quelled severe weather in the area though introduced the risk of strong and gusty winds expected to die down around 8 pm. At the DFW International Airport a wind gust of 39 mph was reported along with a 38 mph wind gust at Dallas Love Field, both at 5 pm. The cold front is expected to keep low temperatures in the 50s for the rest of the week.
The Dallas Morning News, Claire Cardona, May 3, 2017

Hundreds of birds found dead in Galveston-- Hundreds of deceased migratory birds were found in Galveston Thursday morning after flying into the American National Insurance building. This incident was said to have occurred due to the Wednesday night storms that caused the birds to fly lower to the ground and into the building where bright office lights were left on. The director of the Houston Audubon Society encouraged building administrators to turn off these lights to reduce the chance of collisions. Three birds were said to be alive. The surviving and deceased birds will be studied to examine their health and migratory patterns.
KHOU, Tim Wetzel, May 4, 2017

National Weather Service classifies Cumby tornado as EF0 -- A tornado warning was issued for the Commerce area on Saturday evening where strong winds and heavy rains were prevalent throughout the region. Commerce was spared from some of the most dangerous parts of the storm, but the town of Cumby saw an EF-0 tornado make brief contact with the ground before dissipating. Drivers on the nearby interstate confirmed the funnel cloud and the National Weather Service provided the rating. Homes and farms on the edge of the city limits received significant damage, though no deaths or injuries were reported.
The Commerce Journal, Ryan Scott, May 4, 2017

Tornadoes rip through East Texas, four are dead/Governor issues Disaster Declaration for Henderson, Van Zandt and Rains counties -- The Texas Governor has issued a Disaster Declaration for Henderson, Van Zandt, and Rains counties following the deadly tornadoes and the destruction they have caused. A total of seven tornadoes passed through these counties, according to the National Weather Service. An EF-3 tornado passing through Van Zandt and Rains counties caused some of the most destructive damage lasting over an hour. This tornado took four lives and displaced many cars travelling on the interstate.
The News (Athens/Malakoff), Pearl Cantrell, May 4, 2017

Clean up begins after East Texas gets hit with storms -- East Texas residents and businesses are finally beginning the clean up and repair process after severe storms occurred the past weekend. Many families have been left without homes after these storms and must rebuild from scratch. Residents are in shock and devastation though find refuge in the many community members and programs that have stepped in to provide emotional support, hot meals, and combined efforts to help rebuild.
WFAA, Sarah Hoye, May 4, 2017

First Alert Weather Day for Thursday night -- The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk of severe weather for much of East Texas on Thursday. Strong to severe storms are most likely to peak in intensity during the late afternoon and early hours. The likely greatest threats from these storms will be large hail and very gusty winds with heavy rains and flooding possible. A severe thunderstorm watch is likely to be issued by 3 pm this afternoon.
KLTV, Chief Meteorologist Mark Scirto, May 11, 2017

Severe weather possible in East Texas Thursday evening -- Forecasters are expecting severe weather for Tyler and other parts of East Texas Thursday evening. Heavy rain showers, hail, and gusty winds are the main threats of these storms. The severe weather will move in just ahead of a cold front with the possibility of an isolated tornado. Storms are expected to clear out by Friday morning with relatively low temperatures present behind the cold front to be brought into the area.
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Augusta Robinson, May 10, 2017

Severe weather brings tornadoes, road closures, and power outages to the South Plains -- Severe weather and tornadic activity continue to be large threats to infrastructure for North Texas residents this week. The severe weather began in New Mexico on Tuesday and pushed into Lubbock around 6 pm when tennis ball sized hail was beginning to be reported in Parmer and Lamb Counties. Three tornadoes, and total 24-hour rainfall amounts near 4 inches caused reported power outages and road closures throughout the area.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Lucinda Holt, May 10, 2017

Severe Thunderstorm Warning -- The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for counties in southeastern Texas. Localized spotters have reported that wind gusts are up to 60 mph with hail reaching sizes of up to a quarter. Radar has indicated that the storm is moving at about 25 mph and is expected to impact more areas in the Brazos Valley.
KAGS, Staff Writer, May 11, 2017

Weather service confirms 4 East Texas tornadoes -- 4 tornadoes in East Texas were confirmed on Friday by the National Weather Service. 2 EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Gladewater and Minden, an EF-0 touched down near Edgewood, and an EF-2 tornado touched down near Garrison. These classifications were made after damage assessment in Nacogdoches, Van Zandt, and Rusk counties where several residential structures were damaged though no injuries or displacement of residents occurred. Overall, no extensive damage was observed in these areas.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, May 12, 2017

Severe weather likely across the Central US this week -- Forecasts for the current week are following true to climatology in Tornado Alley. Slight risks of severe weather from Texas to Nebraska, and an enhanced risk over Oklahoma and Kansas have been issued by the Storm Prediction Center for Tuesday. Storm systems with a cold front will provide a lifting mechanism for these severe storms to occur. Strong southwesterly flow will be coming ahead of the front to provide warm air and instability, thus leading to possibly intensification of these storms.
WHNT, Gabrielle Deabler, May 15, 2017

‘Particularly dangerous’ tornado threat in Texas panhandle, western Oklahoma-- A “particularly dangerous situation” tornado watch has been issued for portions of the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma by the National Weather Service. Notably strong thunderstorms are expected, capable of bringing large, long-track tornadoes and massive hail. The National Weather Service is expecting a few tornadoes in the region to be classified as intense. Storm chasers have gathered throughout the region to get a first-hand view of the event. Meteorologists are remarking that this weather is forming at the transition zone between cold air from the Rockies and a heat dome present over the eastern United State as a high altitude disturbance from the Southwest exacerbating the severe weather development.
The Washington Post, Jason Samenow, May 16, 2017

Tornadoes hit five states on Tuesday, killing two -- Numerous tornado sightings were reported this past Tuesday as strong storms tore through the central United States. Two people were killed by these severe storms that produced tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The Texas Panhandle saw nearly a dozen tornadoes touch down. Some meteorologists are forecasting the severe weather in the central United States to continue through Thursday.
ABC 7, Staff Writer, May 17, 2017

Storms fizzle out, but more in the forecast-- Northeastern Texas residence are holding their breaths after a strong tornadic thunderstorm system lost a decent amount of strength once it reached Wichita Falls. National Weather Service meteorologists are reporting that some areas throughout south and west Texas saw considerable amounts of rain due to this system. An upper level disturbance interacting with a dry line and Pacific cold front in the Panhandle resulted in this severe weather. As the dry line stalled, heavy rains were inhibited just west of Wichita Falls. Forecasters are expecting even more severe weather on Thursday after hot and sunny conditions return on Wednesday.
Times Record News, John Ingle, May 17, 2017

Severe Storms, Tornadoes Kill 3 and Injure Dozens More IN the Midwest, Plains -- Strong storm systems continued on Wednesday, battering the Midwest and Plains. Powerful winds associated with a tornadic storm system flipped over a small plane in Omaha, Nebraska on Tuesday as reported by the National Weather Service. A few tornadoes were spotted during this storm system’s life near McLean, Texas and other Panhandle areas. Destructive hail was also associated with these storms with diameters near 2-3 inches in the Plains regions.
The Weather Channel, Ada Carr & Pam Wright, May 18, 2017

North Texas could see large hail, tornadoes during rush hour Thursday -- Tornado watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for counties in North Texas, including Dallas and Tarrant counties, effective until 10 pm. The relatively warm temperatures and complimenting dew points are providing the perfect conditions for severe weather in this region. Meteorologists are warning that baseball-size hail, very strong winds, and isolated tornadoes west of the DFW metroplex are expected from this storm. The Storm Prediction Center has also raised the risk for severe storms to enhance for North Texas with tornado warnings being issued for southwestern Oklahoma that could impact the DFW region.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, May 18, 2017

Strong winds recorded in Dallas-Fort Worth as severe storm threat weakens -- Potentially destructive severe weather has weakened considerably for the DFW region Thursday evening. The storm system related to this potentially severe weather was forecasted to dump 1 to 2 inches of rain, golf-ball sized hail, and the possibility of tornadoes. The system weakened considerably, though reminisce of light rain are forcing strong winds on Thursday evening. Gusts of up to 60 mph were reported in Denton, Wise, and Tarrant counties. These gusts are also expected to weaken though some of more than 30 mph could occur overnight.
The Dallas Morning News, Tom Steele & Claire Z. Cardona, May 18, 2017

First Alert: Storms dump heavy rain in Frio Co. Threaten South Texas -- Meteorologists at the National Weather Service are predicting strong to severe thunderstorms in the San Antonio area on Saturday and into Sunday. Due to the loss of the last bit of daytime heating in the area, the threat diminishes for Saturday night though chances will increase again Sunday afternoon and into the night. Heavy rainfall chances are possible for Sunday though significant flooding is not expected due to the low rainfall amounts on Saturday. The Frio County Weather Center reported nickel-sized hail and strong winds, frequent lightning, and gusts up to 40 mph earlier on Saturday.
KENS, Staff Writer, May 20, 2017

Severe Thunderstorm Warning -- The National Weather Service until the later in the evening has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Houston/Galveston area Saturday afternoon. Radar observations identified a severe thunderstorm near Willis, Texas moving southeast at approximately 20 mph. Hazards from this storm include golf ball-sized hail and wind gusts up to 60 mph. The NWS is also cautioning all residents in this area to take shelter immediately as this storm is expected to cause damage to roofs, windows, vehicles, and trees.
KHOU, Staff Writer, May 20, 2017

Severe Weather Spawns Tornado in Fort Bend County -- Sunday’s severe weather produced a tornado that touched down in an area near Katy, Texas, as confirmed by the National Weather Service. No injuries were reported from this storm and minor damage was seen in the area. Shortly before the tornado touched down, a funnel cloud was spotted near Firethorn. A continuation of the severe weather, heavy rains, and possibly flash flooding is expected as storm development continues through Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Sugar Land Patch, Bryan Kirk, May 21, 2017

Storms dot southeast Texas with damage-- Severe weather began in the early morning hours of Monday for southeast Texas with strong thunderstorms reported in Fort Bend County. Several trees, homes, and cars were damaged as reported by local residents. The National Weather Service confirmed that a weak tornado touched down near Fulshear, Texas in the early afternoon. Due to heavy rainfall and flooding, Pearland officers had to rescue duckling from a storm drain, while moderate damage was reported across the Houston area. Overall, 12 people were killed by storms and flooding in the South and Midwest United States.
KPRC, Joel Eisenbaum, May 22, 2017

Weather Update: Severe t’storm warnings cancelled for Travis, Hays-- The National Weather Service has cancelled a severe thunderstorm watch for Hays and Travis County while issue a severe thunderstorm warning for the Kyle, Lockhart, and Buda areas. Residents in Pflugerville saw penny size hail, winds nearly 50 mph, and heavy rain. More than 1,000 Liberty Hill residents lost power during the storm for nearly 2 hours.
The Austin American-Statesman, Nolan Hicks and marty Toohey, May 23, 2017

Possible tornado blasts through Sealy, causing major damage-- Austin County residents are in the process of dealing with extensive damage caused by severe weather on Tuesday afternoon. Homes, business, and cars were greatly affected by the storm’s severity with many businesses being shut down and residents displaced from their homes. A section of I-10 has been shut down while crews are working to clear debris including power lines and an overturned 18-wheeler. Residents report that power lines were snapped, buildings mangled and cars displaced from the road or lifted from the ground due to the strong straight-line winds. Authorities are still in the process of determining if a tornado hit the area.
KTRK, Staff Writer, May 24, 2017

Cleanup begins after microburst tears through Sealy-- Meteorologists have confirmed that the destruction of 75 homes was due to a powerful microburst in Sealy, Texas late Tuesday evening as confirmed by meteorologist. A National Weather Service damage investigation reports that the damage was consistent with wind speeds between 80 and 100 mph, most similar to an EF-1 tornado. Nearly 2,000 Sealy residents are still without power, as of Wednesday. The magnitude of the microburst was very intense and repair efforts are having a hard time dealing with the widespread damage.
KTRK, Staff Writer, May 24, 2017

Was that a tornado? Elgin community reflects after severe weather-- Elgin, Texas service crews are continuing the cleanup process throughout the town on Thursday after heavy storms caused destruction on Tuesday evening. As reported by the National Weather Service, 40 to 60 mph winds hit the area tearing away roofs, destroying structures, and heavily trashing roads with debris. A more extensive investigation is underway for the storm as some residents suspect that a tornado may have hit the area. One Christian reverend took refuge in his church and survived the severe storm event while the structure of his church was nearly completely mangled. No injuries were reported from this storm event.
KHOU, Rebeca Trejo, May 25, 2017

Agency offers long-term care to those impacted by tornadoes-- The Catholic Charities Diocese of Tyler, Texas will begin offering assistance and recovery service for tornadoes and other severe storm events. The assistance program is a long-term care program for affected persons in eastern Texas with specific focus to those in the Canton, Emory, and Fruitvale areas. Aid will become available on May 30th through June 30th at St. Therese Church and Parish Hall in Canton.
KLTV, Jessica Faith, May 25, 2017

Sealy storm victims fear new weather threats-- Residents of Sealy, Texas are bracing themselves for new severe weather threats that may occur this weekend. Cleanup crews are still in action this week to repair the over 100 structures in the town that were heavily damaged buildings caused by Tuesday’s microburst event. The remaining residents who were without power are having it restored by this afternoon. With total rain accumulation for this weekend forecasted at nearly 4 inches in some areas in around the town, many are worried the repair and cleanup efforts will be extended for a longer period.
KTRK, Kevin Quinn, May 26, 2017

Tornadoes among dangers as severe weather outbreak targets central US -- A heightened threat of property damage severe weather has been initiated for Northeastern Texas areas on Saturday and Sunday. Strong thunderstorms that may form or pass through this region have the potential for strong winds and gusts, widespread heavy rainfall, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. A system on its way to the region has been reported as producing damaging winds and large hail. Meteorologist are urging residents in the path of this line of storms to stay up to date on quickly developing situations that may occur and take shelter when necessary.
Accuweather, Faith Eherts, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day weather alert--All Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Bexar County and surrounding areas have been cancelled by the National Weather Service, but the possibility for overnight storms still exists as well as an additional half-inch of rain. There is a 50% chance of rain for Memorial Day and temperatures will cool in the the low 80s as the cold front passes through. Hail was reported in Uvalde, Knippa, and Helotes from the severe weather events Sunday night.
KENS 5, Staff Writer, May 28, 2017

Storm knocks out power, destroys plant dome--An EF-1 tornado that struck south Longview collapsed a dome at the former Joy Global, a longtime Longview landmark. The storms scattered debris and trees, and knocked out electricity to thousands of residents Sunday. No injuries were reported, and by Sunday evening, more than 40,000 customers were reported without power in Gregg County as well as over 10,000 in Harrison County, 1800 in Upshur County, 1,000 in Rusk County, and more than 5,000 in Panola County. The storm reportedly caused the fourth-highest number of outages in AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s history.
Longview News-Journal, Staff Writer, May 28, 2017

NWS preliminary report: second EF-1 tornado confirmed in East Texas--The National Weather Service in Longview surveyed the damage from the storms from Sunday afternoon/evening. The survey team as a preliminary report that an EF-1 tornado came through the area and caused downed trees and damage to homes and buildings in the surrounding area.
KYTX, Staff Writer, May 30, 2017

Other Climate Impacts


Could drones help protect us from tornadoes? -- An Oklahoma State University researcher hopes to utilize drone technology as a new tool to more efficiently predict tornadoes. Tornadoes form quickly and on very small scales, so radar imagery is not always enough to predict their formation. OSU researcher Jamey Jacobs envisions meteorologist flying drones into tornadic supercells to measure temperature, pressure, and wind velocity at specific points throughout storms. Feeding this information into computer models may allow for more enhanced tornado prediction and save many lives.
The Austin American-Statesman, Staff, Marty Toohey, May 1, 2017

Why Harris County doesn’t have tornado sirens -- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Harris Country is the second most tornado-prone county in the country, though the county does not have tornado sirens. The lack of sirens is due to many communities being in proximity of chemical plants that also use sirens to warn of Hazmat situations. The addition of tornado sirens would confuse residents, so wireless alerts sent to cell phones are used to inform on all kinds of hazards. Tornadoes in Harris County though frequent are smaller, less damaging, and on the ground for shorter periods of time in comparison to DFW tornadoes.
KHOU, Staff Writer, May 2, 2017

Texas House Passes ‘Hailstorm’ Bill Aimed at Weather Damage Lawsuits -- Texas legislators have initiated the passage of a new bill to make it more difficult for home and other property owners to sue insurers over weather-related damage to property. The bill passed in the House with a large majority and reduces the penalties insurance companies may face when they don’t pay enough to property owners after severe weather events. Many opponents argue that the bill tips greater power to already powerful insurance companies. The bill is now set to go to the Senate for voting soon.
Insurance Journal, Sanya Mansoor, May 5, 2017

Rough US weather week leaves $1 billion in economic losses -- Last week’s stormy weather brought severe thunderstorms and flooding in the Mississippi River Basin, blizzard conditions in the Upper Midwest, and deadly tornadoes to parts of East Texas. Significant flooding and the Van Zandt County tornadoes lead to widespread destruction and casualties. According to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting, there was an estimated total of over a billion dollars in damages.
The Insurance Insider, May 5, 2017

It’s Texas Hurricane Preparedness Week! Are you ready? -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed May 7-13th to be “Hurricane Preparedness Week”, just ahead of the beginning of the Hurricane season (June 1st – November 30th). The Governor along with other meteorological officials are urging people to begin their preparation strategies and materials early to combat potential disastrous events during a tropical system such as storm surge and severe flooding, two of the largest threats to coastal Texas residents.
CW, Staff Writer, May 10, 2017

U.S. Natural Gas Futures Gain With Weather, Supply In Focus -- Updated weather forecasting models are signaling a stronger demand for fuel leading to U.S. natural gas futures being higher for the second session in a row. Natural gas demand is expected to remain stronger than normal due primarily to cooler than normal temperatures in the northeast. Prices for natural gas are relatively following weather forecasts for the past few weeks as traders are attempting to predict the impact of varying outlooks for spring demand.
Investing, Staff Writer, May 10, 2017

VERIFY: Can you control the weather? -- Weather modification activities have increased significantly in Texas over the past decade. These activities have three key goals: rain enhancement to benefit agriculture, rain enhancement for the sake of replenishing aquifers, and the suppression of hail to protect populated areas. Cloud Seeding is a primary mechanism for weather modification using particles that produce cloud condensation nuclei. This mechanism is considered safe by most as over the past 20 years, no environmental impacts have been seen.
KCEN, Stephen Adams, May 11, 2017

Active weather pattern returns mid week -- Initial conditions will be hot and dry for the DFW metroplex, though an active weather pattern on its way will alleviate these conditions. Low rain chances are expected to be in the forecast beginning early Wednesday. Higher rain chances are will be seen beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday morning, where possibly strong isolated showers will be observed. Forecasters are warning that some severe weather and localized flooding may be possible in the upcoming week as well.
The Dallas Morning News, Staff Writer, May 14, 2017

KBTX turns 60: Advancement in weather technology -- Technological weather innovations have been a major part of overall news advancement. The main purpose of these innovations was to increase availability and impacts of alerts on viewers. One of these first advances was the installation of the SkyScan3 color radar at KBTX in 1982, which provided more accurate and in-depth weather information. Chromakeys or “green screens” were introduced later in replacement of mounted hand-drawn maps to present weather with digital media to better allow for forecast understanding by the viewers. Personal technology advancements have also been made to allow for viewer submissions that show live first-hand pictures and or videos of the reported weather phenomena.
KBTX, Shel Winkley, May 15, 2017

Texas Senate OKs bill to discourage weather-related lawsuits -- House Bill 1774 has been passed by the Senate 21-8 and is en route to a final vote anticipated to pass and be signed by the governor. The bill discourages property owners suffering from weather-related damage to sue their insurers by reducing penalties that insurance companies would be fined when they don’t pay enough in claims. If property owners are to sue, they will now have enhanced risk of having to pay more attorney fees and diminish their credit scores. Two opposing views by Texas democrat and GOP senators is that the bill helps target “bad actor” lawyers who take advantage of claims and the bill jeopardizes consumers’ rights by interfering with the right to higher affordable legal counsel to handle such cases.
The Texas Tribune, Sanya Mansoor, May 16, 2017

Several Texas cities use sirens, but Austin is not one of them-- Tornadoes similar in strength to North Texas tornadoes are not a serious threat to the Austin area. Mainly due to this fact, tornado sirens are not implemented into the Austin emergency systems. In the last nine years, no tornado that touched down in the Travis County area achieved a rating above EF-1, though it is not unimaginable that a strong tornado may occur in this area. The Austin Emergency Managers supplement the lack of sirens with cell phone alerts from the National Weather Service.
Austin American-Statesman, Mark Wilson, May 27, 2017

As Trump considers Paris withdrawal, oil and gas industry divided -- The oil and gas industries are at great odds with the impending decision from President Trump on whether to remain in or leave the Paris Climate Accords. In the United States, the argument is divided among large, midsize, and small oil and gas companies on whether the country should sacrifice its leadership role on a global pact that will reduce usage of fossil fuels over time while switching to less carbon-intensive forms of energy. The division is heavily driven by the fact that many companies, felt most strongly by the smaller ones, are already struggling with low gas and oil prices and increased regulations. Advisors and pundits close to the president are urging him to leave the agreement to focus on matters that align more with his campaign.
Houston Chronicle, James Osborne, May 31, 2017

Scientists Urge Governments to Protect Coral Reefs From Climate Change -- Marine scientists are observing a significant change in the color of coral at the Great Barrier Reef. The scientists noticed that coral hundreds of years old were, for the first time many can remember, was turning all white. Some of the coral is beginning to return to a natural color though much of it has died. Other observable effects by the changing climate and the accelerated crises of these coral reefs are beginning to be used as evidence for governments to take more forceful action in combating climate affects both internationally and in the United States with legislative acts and agreements such as the Paris Climate Accords.
Texas Public Radio, Rob Schmitz, May 31, 2017


Winds severely damage small places at north Texas airport-- Over a dozen small planes were significantly damaged at a North Texas municipal airport on Tuesday as reported by local authorities in Denton, Texas. According to the National Weather Service the storm responsible for these winds hit the Denton area at around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. The initial review of the situation confirmed a peak wind of 48 mph, though many are expecting the wind to have been somewhat greater than that. No injuries were reported from this incident, though 12 to 15 planes were damaged or mangled, along with a dozen hangers and other structures.
US News, Staff Writer, May 23, 2017

Damaging storm forces closure of vital US-Mexico border-- Strong winds and torrential rain downpours on Sunday forced the closure of one of the busiest commercial crossings at the US-Mexico border in south Texas. Severe weather from this even led to power outages, flooding, and structural damages at the World Trade Bridge in an area near Laredo, Texas. Traffic has been suspended at this bridge and diverted to the Columbia-Solidarity Bridge while crews are working to reestablish operations. The National Weather Service is also investigating if a tornado touched down.
The Weather Network, Staff Writer, May 23, 2017

Downburst causes damage, closes key US border bridge in Laredo, Texas-- The World Trade Bridge, a key U.S. commercial border crossing, was closed Sunday due to structural damage from winds. The National Weather Service reports that a downburst occurred containing winds estimated to be nearly 80 mph. Damage from this event was very extensive with a path nearly 6 miles long, causing traffic at this border to be closed indefinitely.
The Weather Channel, Staff Writer, May 24, 2017


Eggs-actly Perfect Weather for Hunting Eggs -- Sunny and warm weather on the morning of April 15th made for perfect conditions for the annual “Easter Egg Hunt” hosted on the grounds of the Bell County Courthouse. Over 400 children and their parents gathered at the courthouse grounds for the event that raises money for child abuse and family violence prevention and awareness.
The Belton Journal, Webmaster, May 5, 2017

NODD Regatta draws record fleet -- A record fleet of about 200 boats set out on the rough waters of Chesapeake Bay to compete in the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta on Friday. This comes a day after the cancellation of the opening day due to foul weather. Mild temperatures and winds between the mid-teens to low 20-knot range, with gusts at times over 25 knots, made it a truly difficult completion.
Capital Gazette, Nancy Noyes, May 6, 2017

May is Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month: How to alleviate symptoms -- The month of May has been identified as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. A large number of children under the age of 18 suffer from incurable, but treatable, asthma and allergies. The spring season is when asthma and allergy agitations by trees are most notable. Tree allergies may last longer than the spring season, possibly year round, due to the weather patterns throughout Texas, especially in the western parts of the state.
KAMC, Terri Furman, May 8, 2017

2017 Art in the Square Delights Despite Windy Weather -- The extremely variable nature of Texas weather almost hindered the 2017 “Art in the Square” competition and gallery in Southlake, Texas on Saturday. Strong wind gusts were the largest problem for the competitors and other patrons of the event.
A steady flow of people continued to come out to the event despite the intermittent strong winds and darkening clouds overhead that let out a few drizzles.
Southlake Style, Staff Writer, May 8, 2017

Rangers win 6th straight under big, blue skies-- Spectators were treated to beautiful weather conditions and a Texas Rangers win on Mother’s Day. The Rangers beat Oakland 6-4 under clear and sunny skies with high temperatures reaching nearly 90 degrees. A drawback of these relatively beautiful conditions was the high levels of ozone as reported by the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office. Monday will be the third consecutive day of high ozone alerts for the region, exacerbated by the warm weather conditions. The high pollution conditions are expected to subside as a slight chance of thunderstorms is forecasted for Tuesday through Sunday.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Richard W. Rodriguez, May 14, 2017

Wind, weather delay construction at Texas Tech’s Sports Performance Center -- Intermittent windy weather conditions have delayed construction for the new Performance Center at Texas Tech University. A threshold of 15-20 mph halts further construction of steel beams on the complex. Flying of steel must be stopped and the site must be locked down. The area experiences somewhat frequent windy conditions, so the project has been slowed somewhat. Another issue is heavy rain that may flood large holes at the site. Construction in this case must also be halted until all of the water is pumped out.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Karen Michael, May 19, 2017

Students stuck for hours on Six Flags ride while storms blow through-- The Arlington Fire Department has rescued eight students stuck on a ride at Six Flags on Saturday night. An investigation is still ongoing into what malfunction caused the students to get stuck on the top of the ride. Rescue teams worked through the late-night hours to unload each passenger as strong storms passed through the area, taking nearly 3 and half hours to complete the task at 3 a.m. No injuries were reported from this incident.
WFAA, Jeff Anastasio and Jiselle Rodriguez, May 20, 2017

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