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Several factors helped November be cooler than normal across the entirety of Texas. This has helped much of the state in preventing significant loss of soil and lake moisture, since the state did not see normal rainfall accumulations this month with the exception of the Lower Valley, Big Bend, and a band through central and eastern Texas. Streamflow conditions in the east remain normal, while statewide reservoirs maintained their levels at around 63%. There were some notable changes in hydrological policies, however, with Wichita Falls entering Stage 4 Drought Disaster water restrictions and the Lower Colorado River Authority increasing the threshold required for water to be released downriver from 42% to 55%.

Agriculturally, there have been mixed impacts. Christmas season is bringing about the annual sale of Christmas trees, with individual farmers selling nearly 4,000 trees this year due to recent rains. Cotton harvesting has finished, with estimates below the 10-year average but better than previous years’. Ongoing hydrological problems are leading to increased salinity along the Gulf Coast, reducing oyster collection numbers by nearly 50%. The increased threshold for releasing water down the Colorado River has rice farmers fearing for the future of their industry as well.

A mid-month storm dumped double-digit rainfall accumulations on Austin, causing an estimated $14.4 million in flooding damages, including destroying 1,000 homes. The same storm system knocked out power to over 16,000 in Houston and required a disaster declaration for Guadalupe County. The year’s first winter weather event arrived for much of Texas from the 23 rd to the 25 th , bringing snow flurries from Amarillo to Huntsville. The storm system caused as many as 30,000 power outages across the state and canceled 300 flights out of DFW Airport during the busiest travel time of the year.
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