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October was a month of varying weather conditions for the state of Texas. Though fall had begun at the end of the previous, Texas maintained summer-like conditions throughout the month. A series of intermittent cold fronts made their way through the state, giving Texans a few teases of autumn weather conditions but were frequently reprieved by remarkably warmer than average temperatures immediately. These mixtures of warm temperatures and cooler air brought down by the passage of fronts also allowed for the development of severe weather systems that produced large amounts of rain in some regions. Texas was also still recovering from the major impacts of Hurricane Harvey which made landfall in August.

This autumn month began with scorching heat in Central Texas, where high temperatures reached 87 degrees in Austin during the first weekend. The following week saw even warmer temperatures for the Dallas-Fort Worth region which almost achieved the region’s record high. The 95 degrees recorded on October 9 was more than 10 degrees warmer than the historical average for that date. Brazos Valley High School students became victims of the heat at a Marching Band Festival in Katy. High temperatures in the southeastern city were 91 degrees with a heat index of 98. At the event, two students were taken to the hospital and treated for heat-related illnesses. The heat and increased travel in Austin due to the Austin City Limits Music Festival lead the Texas Commision on Environmental Quality to issue Ozone Action Days during middle parts of the month for the south-central Texas are as a means of mitigating the optimal peak ozone conditions.

Texans frequently experienced a few spells of autumn weather throughout the month as cold fronts brought very cool air from the Arctic region. The first of these fronts began during the second weekend of the month which dropped warm 80 degree temperatures to the lower 50s and 40s. One of the strongest of the frequent cold fronts was one that passed through the state the week of October 22, which brought freezing temperatures to the Texas Hill Country. The blast of Arctic air also brought the coldest temperatures since January to Austin. Cool temperatures and rain dampened Halloween plans for a wide range of Texas residents who experienced wet, chilly, windy, and overall gloomy conditions. Severe weather conditions were observed as the unseasonably warm and cool temperatures during the middle portions of the month interacted to produce more substantial thunderstorms. North Texas received a notable amount of rain during a thunderstorm on October 21 along with contributions of isolated dime-sized hail and very strong winds. The heavy rains were also responsible for a fatal crash involving a car and truck that killed a woman in Montgomery County.

Government officials and residents alike continued work this month toward Hurricane Harvey recovery. The Texas Department of Transportation reported that nearly 10 million cubic feet of storm debris was removed from roads and lands on the Gulf Coast. To help assist with relief efforts, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has requested for an extra $61 billion for aid along with calling for the Texas legislature to develop the state’s first-ever flood plan. Texas inmates and former US Presidents also contributed aid to Hurricane Harvey victims by raising funds through commissary donations exceeding $53,000 and a relief concert at Texas A&M University respectively.

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