Skip Nav
September started off hot and dry, but two storm systems passed through the state in the middle and end of the month helping to bring rain and cooler temperatures to much of the state. Most of the state saw normal to slightly above normal temperatures with above normal precipitation, though certain regions, notably the Lower Valley and the Texas-New Mexico border, largely missed out on the precipitation. These regions are still suffering from both short and long-term drought issues, as evidenced by new mandatory water restrictions in Corpus Christi. San Angelo, already at Stage 3 restrictions, has begun cracking down on violations in an attempt to curtail its water usage as water levels in O. H. Ivie Reservoir remain perilously low.

Rainfall events for much of the rest of the state have helped counteract much of the shorter-term drought impacts, though not without causing some problems of their own. Widespread flooding as a result of exceptionally high 24-hour accumulations occurred in Jonestown, San Antonio, and Midland, with further damage from lightning and winds in Lubbock and Montgomery County; hundreds of people lost power as a direct result, and hundreds more were swept away in flood waters and required rescue. Still, rainfall has helped mitigate many of the short-term drought effects, as seen in central Texas, where cotton farmers are expecting a 75% higher yield than last year and ranchers were provided relief as livestock overhead has been increasing due to rising feed prices. Hydrological improvements of these rains are limited, however: while San Angelo is expected 50,000+ acre-feet to be recovered to O. H. Ivie Reservoir, Jonestown’s lake and reservoir levels are still so low that their revenues from watersport related purch ses are down and have been put in a budget crunch to the tune of $363,000. Jonestown has had to remove its head librarian and police chief positions and repurpose them to city administrators. Ecological impacts are also still being felt, as Longview’s forestry service has gone far above budget removing trees killed by last year’s and this year’s drought; already having spent nearly $90,000 on tree removal, an estimated 301 million dead trees still require removal.

Extreme heat was a common source of problems in the early days of September as well. Corpus Christi, already in a large rainfall deficit, saw soil shrinkage damaging building foundations as unseasonably high temperatures evaporated soil moisture. Old building infrastructure in Abilene has been having problems mitigating heat. Outdoorsmen in West Texas suffered heat exhaustion during the warmest days of the month, and wildfires as a result of drying grasses in southeast Texas broke out. By the end of the month, however, temperatures have dropped for much of the state and impacts associated with it have as well.
College of Arts & Sciences

Be Here. Be ArtSci.