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November continued to be a month of recovery from the effects of Hurricane Harvey both infrastructurally and financially for the state of Texas. Passages of cold fronts dispersed in warm and dry weather spells made the month seem multi-seasonal.  These weather conditions also contributed to issues of burn bans and extensions of abnormally dry and drought conditions throughout the state.

The Governor of Texas and other legislative powers dedicated $90 million to disaster-declared counties in southeast Texas that were in the path of Hurricane Harvey. These federal funds are for debris removal and other offset costs that will supplement federal aid already being funneled to storm-ravaged coastal areas, including Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Port Aransas. State agency crews from the Texas Department of Transportation have removed about 1.5 million cubic yards of debris at the rate of about 25,000 cubic yards per day, totaling 65 to 70 percent of storm debris. East Houston Regional Medical Center was one of numerous facilities throughout Texas that was forced to close its doors this month after suffering extensive damage during Harvey. The medical center had previously been rebuilt following storms and other heavy rain events, but Harvey was an exceptional case. Though the center had been equipped with protective floodgates, nearly six feet of water was able to enter the facility. Officials at the center have reported that they are actively assisting in the search for new employment opportunities in the Gulf Coast region to the facility’s employees that will lose their jobs.

Warm and dry weather was a consistent pattern during November for the state of Texas. The Austin area observed record high temperatures on November 2. The National Weather Service reported that the region reached 88 degrees, tying the daily record set last year. North Texas on this day saw high temperatures climb into the lower 90s. Residents in some regions of central Texas felt temperatures rise to the near 80s in the weekend proceeding Thanksgiving. Though abnormally warm conditions were a major story of the month, some strong cold systems brought winter-like conditions to the state. An arctic air mass brought down chilly temperatures in the 30s and 40s to areas of north Texas during the second week of the month. Southeast Texas also got their share of this cold weather just before Thanksgiving. Forecasters are predicting a drier and warmer winter as La Nina has been identified to continue through the season.

Drought set in for the state during this frequently warm and dry month. Central Texas and the Brazos Valley were subjects of abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought for the entirety of the month. Portions of north and east Texas were issued burn bans as severe drought creeped into the area. These conditions forced farmers to delay-cool season forage planting throughout east Texas. Late cool season planting delays the availability of harvest for crops and is problematic for producers that rely on winter pasture grazing. Warm and dry weather wasn’t bad for all farmers as citrus and some vegetable growers expect large yields from these conditions. Kale, grapefruit, cilantro, and cabbage are all predicted to have significant yields this season. The weather was also good for the deer population and hunters. The November count of white-tailed deer in the state was over 4 million, the largest population of any state. Deer hunting season began November 4 and will run until January 7 for north Texas and January 21 for South Texas. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is expecting a continuation of the bountiful population for the over 739,000 deer hunters this season.


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