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Burn Bans/Drought/Fire/Water Supply

County-wide burn bans through November 1

October 24 - County commissioners extend burn ban: Midland County unanimously voted to keep the current burn ban in effect for another 90 days, marking the first time in the city's history that a burn ban has lasted longer than a year.
Midland Reporter-Telegram, Kathleen Thurber, October 24, 2011. 

October 25 - Thanks to rain, burn ban is lifted for unincorporated Tarrant County: Tarrant County plans on lifting the current bum ban for unincorporated areas of the county because recent rains have diminished the fire danger.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Steve Campbell, October 25, 2011.

October 26 - Grayson Commissioners lift burn ban, lower jury pay: The Grayson county commissioners voted to not renew the burn ban that is currently in effect for another 90 days.
Herald Democrat, October 26, 2011.


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, October 4, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor, October 25, 2011

October 1 - The rancher: The past year doesn't allow for much except hope: Farmers and ranchers in West Texas have seen it all, but have never experienced anything like the current drought. However, many are still holding out hope for the next growing season.
Midland Reporter-Telegram, Ed Todd, October 1, 2011. 

October 2 - Drought made September one of state's most unbearable in history: The current drought is in an exceptional state across most of Texas and experts fear that the drought may linger into the next decade.
Lufkin Daily News, Micah Powell, October 2, 2011. 

October 12 - Drought's fierce grip continues: The drought still continues across East Texas and it is affecting the local timber industry and the daily lives of local residents.
Cherokeean Herald, Quinten Boyd, October 12, 2011.

October 13 - Texas Digest: Drought recedes in some parts of Texas: Recent rains have caused a 15% drop in the portion of the state in D4 drought stage, down to 73% of Texas from 88% last week.
Austin American-Statesman, October 13, 2011.

October 17 - Drought of 2011 was one for the books: The summer of 2011 was certainly record breaking in Central Texas as almost every heat and dryness record fell during the drought.
KXAN Austin, Jim Spencer, October 17, 2011.


October 4 - Lightning strike Thursday apparent cause of Friday's large grass fire: A fire outside of Ski Ranch was caused by a lightning strike the day before, leading to a total of 40 firefighters being called in to fight the blaze.
KGNB New Braunfels, October 4, 2011.

Water Supply

October 4 - Tyler implements voluntary water conservation: The city of Tyler will being implementation of Stage 1 water restrictions beginning on October 9th, meaning residents will be asked to voluntarily conserve water and limit irrigation.
KETK Tyler, Michael Wesp, October 4, 2011. 

October 4 - The Texas Drought: How bad could it get: As it seems that the drought will linger in the Austin area, water reuse is being looked at as a viable option to conserve water.
KUT Austin, Mose Buchele, October 4, 2011.

October 4 - Drought continues and City Lake water levels are low: Water levels at City Lake in Falls County are at record low levels and if there is no appreciable precipitation in the near future, water rationing may become necessary.
Marlin Democrat, October 4, 2011. 

October 5 - Chance of rain in the Basin is cause for celebration: Despite recent rains and a good chance for more rainfall in the forecast, residents of the Permian basin should still practice water conservation.
KWES Midland, Victor Lopez, October 5, 2011.

October 5 - Drought brings Caddo Lake levels to near record-low: Caddo Lake neared all-time record low water levels, though the lake may actually have a lower level than indicated because there may be drought-related debris stuck in the gauge.
Longview News-Journal, Hannah DeClerk, October 5, 2011.

October 7 - City OKs Stage 3 Drought Contingency: The city of Frisco moves to Stage 3 water restrictions on request from the North Texas Municipal water District.
Star Local News, Elizabeth Knighten, October 7, 2011. 

October 7 - Officials declare Stage 3 Drought Emergency for Round Rock: A Stage 3 water emergency was declared for Brazos River Authority customers who receive water from Lake Georgetown due to a failed pump that refills the lake. Experts say that only 28 days worth of water remain for the 250,000 customers.
Community Impact, October 7, 2011.

October 11 - Rain gives county a little break: Although over 3 inches of rain fell in Galveston County over the weekend, it still wasn't enough to lift the Stage 2 Water restrictions on the county.
Galveston County Daily News, Christopher Smith Gonzalez, October 11, 2011.

October 11 - Rain dents drought, lake levels climb: Recent rains have allowed water levels at lakes around North Texas to rise, though most lake levels were up only about a foot or two and were still well below normal.
KXAS Dallas-Fort Worth, October 11, 2011.

October 15 - Wichita Falls water supply weathers drought: Due to successive droughts Lake Meredith will no longer be used to supply water to the Texas Panhandle.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Lynn Walker, October 15, 2011.

October 21 - San Marcos water restrictions continue: The city of San Marcos will continue its Stage 2 water restrictions despite recent rains because of the water level of the J17 Index Well, which is monitored by the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
Community Impact, October 21, 2011.

Agricultural Impacts

October 1 - Heat hammers holiday decor: Holiday agricultural products may be in short supply due to the failure of the pumpkin crops and the dying off of Christmas tree seedlings.
Kilgore News Herald, Aaron May, October 1, 2011.

October 1 - Saving by the barrel: The use of a rain barrels to collect water for crops has benefits, and as little as half-an-inch of rain can fill a 55-gallon rain barrel.
San Angelo Standard-Times, October 1, 2011.

October 4 - Texas crop, weather for Oct. 4, 2011: State Climatologist: 'Very likely' that drought will last into 2012 - or longer.
Texas A&M AgriLife News, Robert Burns, October 4, 2011. 

October 6 - Cattle sell-off continues in county: Because of the lack of pastures and high cost of supplemental feeding, Wood County ranchers have been selling cattle at a “historic" rate.
Wood County Democrat, October 6, 2011.

October 10 - Drought taking a toll on pecan crop: The drought has caused a thinning of pecan tree leaves as well as an overall decrease in the North Texas pecan crop.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, Judith McGinnis, October 10, 2011.

October 12 - Texas crop, weather for Oct. 12, 2011: AgriLife agronomist: Stock for drought and plan for opportunities.
Texas A&M AgriLife News, Robert Burns, October 12, 2011.

October 14 - Drought hurts Texas peanuts: Excessively dry weather took a major toll on the West Texas peanut crop, which normally ranks second nationally behind only the Georgia crop.
KUT Austin, Kimberly Johnson, October 14, 2011.

October 17 - Cotton farmers, ginners feeling the effects of the drought: Cotton production in West Texas has dropped dramatically due to the drought and many cotton gins will not even open this season.
KWES Midland, Geena Martinez, October 17, 2011.

October 18 - Texas crop, weather for Oct. 18, 2011: Rain helps, but exceptional drought still the rule.
Texas A&M AgriLife News, Robert Burns, October 18, 2011.

October 25 - Texas crop, weather for Oct. 25, 2011: AgriLife Economist: Don't blame current higher gasoline prices on corn and ethanol.
Texas A&M AgriLife News, Robert Burns, October 25, 2011.

October 26 - Drought downsizes Texas vineyards: The 2011 drought cut winery production by thousands of cases at the Texas Hills Vineyard and has impacted the taste of wine produced all across the Hill Country.
San Antonio Current, Ron Bechtol, October 26, 2011.

Inclement Weather

Cold/Wintry Weather

October 28 - Woah! Snow! An early season snowstorm in the Panhandle dropped 3.1 inches of snow in Amarillo.
KVII Amarillo, Michael Schumacher, October 28, 2011.


October 1 - Much needed rain turns into too much rain: The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Starr County as a slow moving storm passed over the Lower Valley.
KGBT Harlingen, Jonathan Weant, October 1, 2011.


October 6 - Dog left dead in car after heat stroke: The Laredo Police Department is investigating the heat-related death of a K-9 officer back on September 3 after the canine was left in a police car.
KGNS Laredo, October 6, 2011.

Severe Weather

October 9 - Heavy rain pounds Houston area, doesn't dampen Sunday events: Torrential rain and lightning caused power outages that left 5,000 residents without power in the Houston area and also led to numerous car accidents on local freeways.
KTRK Houston, Sonia Azad, October 9, 2011.

October 9 - 25 percent of year's rain falls in one day: The city of Victoria picked up 2.54 inches of rainfall on October 9th, but the 12 inches of year-to-date precipitation was still about 20 inches below normal.
Victoria Advocate, Jennifer Preyss, October 9, 2011.

October 12 - Severe weather leads to power outages, wrecks in North Texas: Severe storms blew through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, causing numerous automobile accidents and about 5,000 power outages.
WFAA Dallas-Fort Worth, Marjorie Owens, October 12, 2011.

October 18 - Dust storm's disruption beginning to moderate: A huge dust storm that many are calling a “haboob" (violent sandstorm with strong winds) rolled through Lubbock with wind gusts approaching 70 mph and caused about 3,300 power outages.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Ray Westbrook, October 18, 2011.

Other Climate Impacts

October 6 - Can 'Weather Modification' Help In A Drought: The current drought has people wondering whether cloud seeding can possibly help increase precipitation in drought-parched Texas.
KUT Austin, Matt Largey, October 6, 2011.

October 14 - Drought expected to bring more dust storms to Texas: Due to dry soils, a lack of vegetation, and high winds, experts says that more dust storms can be expected across West Texas in the near future.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 14, 2011.

Air/Water Quality

October 6 - Water quality under assault: A recent study shed that drought causes water toxicity levels to rise, as there are more chemicals per unit volume of water present.
Baylor Lariat; Robyn Sanders, October 6, 2011.

October 12 - Extended drought brings relief to allergy sufferers: The drought has caused a decrease in the pollen count across the El Paso area as a lack of rainfall has suppressed allergens such as mold and pollen.
KTSM El Paso, Amber Downing, October 12, 2011. 

October 12 - Trash town? Rare rain unleashes a floating garbage dump on the Buffalo Bayou: Recent rains washed much of the trash deposited on the sides of Houston roadways into Buffalo Bayou, with much of the trash eventually reaching Galveston Bay.
Culture Map Houston, Fayza A. Elmostehi, October 12, 2011.

Animals/Aquatic Life

October 4 - Drought worsening southeast Texas' problems with crazy ants: First spotted in Harris County in 2002, crazy ants have recently been invading Houston area homes and businesses in search of food and water.
KTRK Houston, Adela Uchida, October 4, 2011.

October 4 - Drought affecting area bats: As the drought continues, Mexican Free tailed bats are having a tougher time finding food due to the lack of insects.
KSAT San Antonio, October 4, 2011.

October 5 - Seafood suffering in drought: Increased salinity levels in Galveston Bay have caused a decrease in the harvest of shrimp, oysters, and Blue Crab.
KRIV Houston, Sally Macdonald, October 5, 2011.

October 22 - Gulf algae bloom affects much of Texas Gulf Coast: Algae, which grows quickly in warm salty water, has boomed along the Texas Gulf Coast due to the drought and heat across the state.
KTRK Houston, October 22, 2011. 

October 22 - Whoopers should be flying in soon: The drought may cause a decrease in available food for the endangered whooping cranes on their migration south toward the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Victoria Advocate, Dianna Wray, October 22, 2011.


October 3 - Drought provides a chance to repair ponds: As the drought has dried out ponds farmers and ranchers have had a good chance to check for and address problems.
Country World, Mindy Riffle, October 3, 2011.


October 1 - Some gun shops feel squeeze of economy, drought; gun, knife show continues today: Abilene area firearms sales have been low because of decreased hunting expectations caused by the drought.
Abilene Reporter-News, Scott Kirk, October 1, 2011.

October 2 - Texas heat increases foundation repair inquiries 75 percent: Foundation repair businesses across Texas have seen a 75% increase in business due to the dry soil.
Laredo Sun, October 2, 2011.

October 5 - Ranchers wonder how to handle the herd: The cost of keeping cattle has risen during the current drought and producers are encouraged to get creative in order to both keep costs down and maintain the strength of their herds.
Bryan-College Station Eagle, Robert Fears, October 5, 2011.

October 9 - Rain good for bottler's business: Agana Rainwater in Buda filled over 500,000 bottles of water from the 1.5 inches of rain that fell over the past weekend, and now has a 9-month water reserve.
KXAN Austin, Dustin Blanchard, October 9, 2011.

October 10 - Drought no laughing matter for Central Texas football fields: The cost of maintaining school grass athletic fields has risen dramatically in the heat and drought of this year and many schools have ditched the grass for artificial turf at a substantial cost.
Austin American-Statesman, Rick Cantu, October 10, 2011. 

October 14 - ERCOT examines grid management during high heat, drought conditions: The excessive heat of this summer caused the demand on electricity in Texas to hit the highest amount ever at 68,379 MW on August 3rd and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is exploring how it will survive the summer of 2012.
Community Impact, October 14, 2011.

October 14 - Local winery one of several drought-affected businesses: Many small businesses in Southeast Texas have been hurt by the drought, including the Piney Woods Winery. The U.S. Small Business Administration has been offering low-interest loans to drought-affected businesses since June.
Beaumont Enterprise, Julie Chang, October 14, 2011. 

October 17 - Drought hurting Lake Travis businesses: Lake Travis has fallen to 40 feet below its historical normal and much lower than normal water levels has dropped local business revenues by as much as 30%.
Austin American-Statesman, Gary Dinges, October 17, 2011. 

October 19 - Drought could hurt school's revenues: Land in Tom Green County leased by the Brenham and Burton School Districts may not pay as well as usual due to the drought drying up pastures and dwindling the deer and turkey population.
Brenham Banner-Press, October 19, 2011. 

October 31 - The price of peanut butter takes a hike: The price of peanut butter will jump up as much as 40% due to the crop losses in Texas and other parts of the country.
WOIA San Antonio, October 31, 2011.


October 3 - Houston struggles with trees tortured by drought: The drought has claimed over a fourth of the trees at the Houston Arboretum, and efforts are now being focused on prominent trees rather than all of the trees.
Houston Chronicle, Chris Moran & Kathy Huber, October 3, 2011.

October 3 - Heat still a challenge in gardens: Although fall is here, heat can still be an issue and fall gardens should be in the ground by November.
Denton Record-Chronicle, Rachel Mehlhaff, October 3, 2011.

October 12 - Texas-tough landscape plants shine in drought: The long heat and drought has highlighted several plant species that have survived the drought conditions, including the peppermint flare hibiscus, tacoma stans, and big momma's turk's cap.
Galveston Daily News, Dr. William Johnson, October 12, 2011.

October 24 - Urban forester explains how to water trees: Watering trees away from the trunk is the best way to keep trees healthy during drought conditions.
Humble Observer, Roy Kent, October 24, 2011.


October 2 - South Zone wingshoot success despite drought: Dove season opened successfully in South Texas even in the midst of the devastating drought.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times, David Sikes, October 2, 2011.

October 13 - Deer drying up fast in drought: Drought conditions have limited the carrying capacity of many Texas ecosystems, causing the deer population to drop.
KRIV Houston, Kristine Galvan, October 13, 2011.

October 13 - East Texas anglers use drought to improve their fishing game: Sam Rayburn Lake is 13 feet below normal, and this has allowed fishermen to scout out the best fishing holes and better avoid potential obstacles.
KTRE Tyler, October 13, 2011.


October 2 - Drought, heat and golf in Texas: Golf courses throughout Texas are suffering due to the drought and many may fail if the drought continues for another year or two.
Austin American-Statesman, Kevin Robbins, October 2, 2011.

October 4 - Corn maze continues despite drought: Chaloupka Farm's Rocky Creek Maze in Moulton will open as expected this year, but with shorter than average corn due to the drought.
Victoria Advocate, Allison Miles, October 4, 2011.

October 4 - Alvin pumpkin patch a victim of drought: The pumpkin patch at Grace Episcopal Church in Alvin will not open this year due to a shortage in pumpkin, caused by the ongoing drought.
Houston Chronicle, Nicholas Cole, October 4, 2011.

October 5 - Austin needs comprehensive plan on drought (editorial): City ordinances may be enacted in Austin that make any sort of fire or spark in a city park a class C misdemeanor.
Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner, October 5, 2011.

October 8 - McMurry game called after multiple rain delays: Rain and lightning cause the delay and eventual shortening of the Sul Ross State University versus McMurry University Football game.
KTXS Abilene, October 8, 2011.

October 9 - Weekend rain cuts into attendance at Texas State Fair: Rain caused the first game of the American League Championship Series to be canceled at The Ballpark in Arlington and also led to a drop in attendance at the Texas State Fair.
KDAF Dallas-Fort Worth, Charles Bassett, October 9, 2011.

October 10 - Faxon wins as rain cancels Insperity's final round: Rain caused the final round of the Insperity Golf Tournament held at the Woodlands Country Club to be canceled.
Houston Chronicle, Steve Campbell, October 10, 2011. 

October 20 - Austin City Council looks to ban smoking in public parks: The Austin City Council will soon vote on the proposed ban of smoking in public parks due to excessively dry conditions.
Daily Texan, Jillian Bliss, October 20, 2011.


October 7 - Morning rain causes wrecks: Rain likely contributed to a wreck that forced Loop 1604 to be shut down for much of the morning in San Antonio as crews cleaned up a diesel spill.
San Antonio Express-News, Ana Ley, October 7, 2011.

October 9 - Rain Ends Dry Spell; Causes Problems for Drivers: A rare rainfall event in Corpus Christi caused over a dozen accidents according to local police.
KIII Corpus Christi, October 9, 2011.

October 10 - More rain could wreak havoc on roadways: The drought has caused the splitting of roadways in Fort Bend County and the problem may exacerbated by future rains.
KRIV Houston, Sally MacDonald, October 10, 2011.

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