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September was a month of physical and societal recovery after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in the state of Texas. The southeastern regions of the state were the most heavily affected by the heavy rain events along with some areas in southcentral Texas. Hot summer conditions, non-uniform displacement of rain, and persisting drought also had notable climate impacts on society.

Special task forces in Texas continued search and rescue efforts for victims of intense flooding in the Texas Gulf Coast. Though Harvey’s rains were no longer present in Texas, many roads in the Southeast flooded as the Brazos River filled beyond its banks. This river bank overflowing forced residents to remain stationary until help could arrive. Due to the large number of residents that had to be rescued, water rescues teams from Kansas sent units to assist in the process, saving over 4,000 structures and evacuating over 100 people. As of September 6, the death toll directly related to Harvey rose to 70 lives. Residents in South Texas were at risk to more possible damage due to a large scale frontal system that brought 4 inches to regions near Del Rio and Eagle Pass, with some isolated areas receiving nearly 10 inches.

Hurricane Harvey temporarily alleviated dry and hot summer conditions, but the state’s climate soon recovered to warm temperatures. Hot temperatures returned to the state consistently beginning in the middle of the month. High temperatures began to creep up towards the upper 90s in San Angelo and the DFW region, a contrast to the idea that cooler temperatures had begun to set in and autumn was returning. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a cold, snowy, and intense winter is expected for North Texas, relieving the area from the hot temperatures experienced this summer and early fall. This prediction is in stark contrast to that made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which expects a relatively mild winter season.

Warm late-summer temperatures and lack of rain in West-Southwestern portions of the state allowed for the development of drought conditions that persisted in spite of the large amount of rain left by Hurricane Harvey. A dry fall is anticipated for the state which will lead to low production of spring bluebonnets. Areas such as the DFW through September 19 had not seen rain since August 27. Residents in San Marcos were placed under water conservation as drought rules required on September 16. The Texas Water Development Board reported that some regions were continuing recovery from Harvey’s heavy rains while others experienced a growing drought due to an unseasonably dry September. 21 percent of the state has been designated some category of drought, up 8 percent from last week.

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