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County-wide burn bans through December 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, November 6, 2012
U.S. Drought Monitor, November 27, 2012

Are we Facing Another Drought?- Water levels along the Sam Rayburn and Toledo reservoirs are around 4 feet below normal despite ample rainfall earlier this year. For the past few months rainfall has been much less than normal and it has many worrying that another drought may be upon us.
The Beaumont Enterprise, Dan Wallach, November 9, 2012

Lake Meredith Hits Record Low- After steadily dropping for a decade, Lake Meredith has hit a record low of 28.93 feet; the record high is 101 feet, set in 1973. As water levels drop the towns that are dependent on the lake for water have to look elsewhere.
Pronews 7, Jacob Bradford, November 13, 2012

Drought Creeping Back into Southeast Texas- The Houston area was blessed with amply rainfall in the early months of the year, yet since September George Bush Intercontinental Airport has only received 3.5 inches of rain, much below normal. This drop in precipitation has caused the southeastern portion of the state to slip back into moderate drought, of which NOAA suggests will intensify over the next few months.
KPRC News, November 15, 2012

Drought Main Topic at Symposium- Over 100 Belton residents attended the Bell County Water Symposium on Thursday and the main topic was the drought of 2011, which pushed the limits on the water supply. Another topic was the proposed water pipeline between Stillhouse Hollow and Belton Lakes, estimated to cost $500 million, which would allow water to be transferred without being released from the dam.
The Killeen Daily Herald, Brandon Janes, November 16, 2012

Moderate Drought Hits Most of Texas, Including Houston- After a tapering off over the winter and spring of 2012, the drought of 2011 is back after only an average of 30% of normal rainfall for October to November. This puts nearly three quarters of the state, including Houston under moderate or more severe drought.
The Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger, November 22, 2012

Despite Cooler Temps, Central Texas Drought Still a Reality- Shortly before the holiday the Lower Colorado River authority asked the TCEQ for emergency relief from the drought which if approved will stop water releases to lower river rice farmers.
YNN Austin, Jeff Stensland, November 23, 2012

Dry Fall Makes Farmers Dread Winter Drought- After the 9th driest October on record and a dry November, this fall has not shaped up to bring the rains that farmers were hoping for. If rains do not come soon the corn crop may suffer, as many acres of corn are awaiting rainfall to replenish the soil. Wheat is also in need of rainfall to have a good harvest, but the wheat is still resilient enough to last a bit longer without rain.
The Houston Chronicle, William Pack, November 27, 2012

Texas Drought is Rearing its Ugly Head Again- The drought is back across most of Texas with 94% of the state under abnormally dry conditions or worse and 25 % of the state under extreme drought. This has farmers worried about the harvest of the winter crops as very little to no rain has fallen this fall; 40 to 45 percent of all winter wheat is rated poor or very poor and that number is rising quickly. The drought also forces cattle herders to fear the selloff of cattle that occurred after last year’s drought. All of this seems to be shaping up just like in the 1950s drought, which lasted between 5 and 7 years.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Steve Cambell, November 29, 2012

Fort Worth Among Portions of Texas Back in Severe Drought- The past few months have been extremely dry across the state of Texas, forcing the U.S. Drought Monitor to place many portions of the state under more extensive drought conditions. Right now around 80% of the state is under some form of drought condition, while Fort Worth and Houston have been added back under severe drought. This all comes after the expected El Nino fizzled and did not bring the rain needed to lift the state from the 2011 drought.
WFAA News, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, November 30, 2012


As the Drought Drags on, Central Texas Firefighters Stay Vigilant- For the fourth time in history Austin has not seen a drop of rain in November, and this dryness has local firefighters alert in a month that is usually wet. The conditions are conducive to wildfires in central Texas as the drought has worsened and there is plenty of brush available to burn.
YNN Austin, Heidi Zhou-Castro, November 27, 2012

Water Supply

Central Texans Drilling out of the Drought- With the drought still causing problems for the water supply in the Hill Country, many are turning to the drilling of private wells to supply water. Bee Cave Drilling has seen an increase in business as people turn to the Edwards Aquifer for water despite new regulations by the city of Austin on private wells to prevent overuse of the Edwards Aquifer.
KEYE News, Jason Wheeler, November 12, 2012

Brazos River Authority Goes on Stage 1 Watch- After an extended period of dryness the Brazos River Authority has issued a stage one drought watch for the upper drainage basin. The watch will call for voluntary conservation to help alleviate 5% of water usage.
KXAN News, November 14, 2012

El Paso Copes with Growing Water Challenges- The city of El Paso will drill nine new wells in the lower valley this year to account for increased demand and the still continuing drought. The wells will draw 12 million gallons of water per day from the Hueco Bolson Aquifer and are estimated to cost $3.5 million.
KTSM News, Keagan Harsha, November 15, 2012

City Plans to Enact Mandatory Water Restrictions Soon- Corpus Christi is set to be under waer restrictions sometime over the next 10 days as combined reservoir levels drop to 40.6% capacity, down nearly 15% from this time last year. Lake Corpus Christi Reservoir is down to 15.8 percent while Choke Canyon Reservoir remains at 50 percent.
KIII News, November 21, 2012

Drought Drives Rainwater Collection Across Texas- During the drought rainwater collection systems saw a increase in sales, though an exact number is hard to come by. Texas doesn’t charge sales tax on the drums and Austin gives a stimulus for every gallon saved from the municipal water supply. These systems cost about as much as drilling a new well and are much more sustainable than wells and their use is expected to help reduce water usage and reduce water supply costs.
The Austin American Statesman, David Barer, November 23, 2012

Agricultural Impacts

Texas Growers Expecting a Bumper Pecan Crop- After a low harvest last year due to drought, this year will make up for it in a record sized pecan crop. Around 65 million pounds of pecans are expected to be harvested in Texas this year, up from an average of 52 million; that value of an average pecan harvest is greater than $87 million.
KTVT News, November 2, 2012

Agriculture Trends Affect Texas Panhandle Economy- This year’s harvest is much more bountiful than last year’s crop harvest mainly due to the decrease in the drought’s severity. After the price of cotton peaked last year at $2.00, cotton planting soared and prices fell again. This may force panhandle farmers to turn to more profitable crops this upcoming year such as wheat or sorghum.
KFDA News, Jeff Stebbins, November 7, 2012

Hill Country Christmas Tree Farm Beats the Drought- Jim Hingst’s Christmas tree farm is doing very well this year with ample rainfall keeping his trees well watered and green. His trees are drought resistant Afghan Pines and fare well even after being cut down and put into homes.
KENS News, Eric Gonzalez, November 8, 2012

Farmers, Ranchers Receive Help- After the devastating drought of 2011 forced many to sell off their cattle the IRS is extending the period that requires ranchers to replenish their herds after accepting disaster benefits . The extension will go till the next taxable year.
The Panola Watchman, November 9, 2012

From the Ground Up- Drought Creates Opportunity for Brush to Thrive- After several years of under normal precipitation, the ground is barren in some places allowing for weeds to quickly take control of the land with the recent rainfall. Experts claim that the best way to rid the problem is to attack the root of the plant, not the top.
KBTX News, Kailey Carey, November 15, 2012

Drought Limiting Number of Christmas Trees At Central Texas Tree Farms- When last year’s drought prevented any Christmas trees from being cut from Evergreen Farms near Austin. This year. after some careful planning and more rainfall, there are expected to be about 500 trees available for customers to cut down.
KEYE News, Lydia Pantazos, November 21, 2012

Inclement Weather

Cold/Winter Weather

First Freeze Advisory for El Paso- Temperatures will drop low enough in the El Paso metro area Sunday night to prompt the National Weather Service to issue a freeze advisory.
KTSM News, Kay Recede, November 12, 2012

Freeze Warnings Now Posted for Parts of East Texas- Overnight temperatures are expected to drop into the mid thirties across parts of east Texas prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Freeze warning for Cherokee, Rusk, Shelby, and Nacogdoches counties.KETK News, Brad Hlozek, November 12, 2012

Sleet last Night? That’s right- Sleet, graupel, and hail fell in some areas of east Texas overnight as a weak system moved over an area cool and dry enough to support frozen precipitation. There was no accumulation, but it did produce lots of cloud-to-ground lightning.
KLTV News, Grant Dade, November 14, 2012

Severe Weather

Lightning Strikes a Leon Valley Home- At about 3 a.m. a storm passed across the Leon Valley area and brought at most 1 inch of rain to the region. While the storm pounded the area a family was awakened when a fire was started in their home by a lightning strike—no one was hurt.
San Antonio Express News, Eva Ruth Moravec, November 4, 2012

Lightning Strike Destroys Lufkin Man’s Shed- During the passing of a strong electric storm, the shed of Louis Bronaugh was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
KTRE News, Leigha Hughes, November 4, 2012

Storms Cause Damage Around Coastal Bend- Powerful storms moved across the coastal bend downing power lines across the JFK Causeway and breaking off tree limbs all around the region. Minor flooding occurred in low lying streets as heavy rains accompanied the high winds.
KIII News, November 5, 2012

Other Climate Impacts


Boiler Breakdown Leaves Classrooms Chilly- A boiler at Whitney M. Young Jr. Elementary School in Dallas broke down causing the heat to go out and making over 600 students bundle up in the chilly weather. The boiler will be repaired by the next days classes.
KXAS News, Ray Villeda, November 13, 2012

Animals/Aquatic Life

Rice Farming Essential to Wildlife- As the debate over water rights in the LCRA and rice farmers intensifies it is important to note that the flooded marshlands that the rice farmers use to germinate rice growth is the only place that migratory birds have along the Texas coast to settle in.
The Austin American Statesman, Bill Stransky, November 11, 2012


Cold Forecast Fuels Rise in Natural Gas Futures- Gas prices rose to a 1 year high this weekend as November temperatures were anticipated to drop. This will eat into the surplus, as more units are needed for heat.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, November 16, 2012

Record wind Power Production in Texas- On November 10 at around 10 in the morning a record 8,521 megawatts of power were produced by wind turbines in the state due to high winds. This was enough electricity to provide power to around a quarter of the state, approximately 4 million homes, at the time.
KXAN News, David Yeomans, November 21, 2012


West Nile Remains Threat in East Texas Despite Cold Weather, officials say- West Nile Virus has started to decline in prevalence as the temperatures drop, but experts warn that mosquitoes are still around and will be until several days of below freezing weather kill of the larvae and the insects. Overall, Longview has spent less than $13000 of its planned $1500 mosquito control budget this year.
Longview News Journal, Jessica Ferguson, November 15, 2012


Tips to Prepare for Cold Weather- As the cold weather comes into the Texoma area, it is time for residents to be prepared. Experts say to begin prepping the house by insulating pipes and watching after pets. After two freezes mosquitoes will die off, getting rid of the West Nile risk until summer.
KXII News, Victoria Maranan, November 14, 2012

Look to Tucson for Ideas for Drought Tolerant Gardening- As the drought seems to be sticking around residents of central Texas should look west to Tucson, Arizona for drought tolerant gardening ideas. In Tucson the soil is very alkaline, much like Central Texas, and their short shrubs and Saguaro Cacti are placed to use little water and still look good in yards.
The Austin American Statesman, Diana C. Kirby, November 23, 2012


Up, up and away: Poor weather can’t keep Celina Balloon Festival grounded- Rain and windy conditions kept attendance and balloons down at the Celina balloon festival this year, but overall attitudes were up. Over 20,000 people were estimated to have come to the event despite the windy conditions which kept many balloonists from launching.
The Celina Record, Andrew Snyder, November 1, 2012 

Rain Falls Briefly through Cowboys Stadium Roof- On the Thanksgiving day game versus the Redskins a brief period of rain began to fall through the open roof of the new stadium, the first time since the stadiums opening that rain has fallen during a game.
KDFW News, November 22, 2012


Massive Pileup Shuts I-10 in Texas; 2 Dead- Extremely foggy conditions caused a 100 car pileup on eastbound Interstate 10 outside of Beaumont. 51 people were taken to the hospital while a man and woman in an SUV were killed after being hit by a tractor trailer.
Yahoo News, November 22, 2012

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