Posts Tagged ‘drought’

2011: Texas’ Dryest Year Ever

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Official confirmation, just in case you needed it:

Federal scientists confirmed Friday that Texas had its driest year on record in 2011.

The statewide average rainfall for the year totaled just 14.88 inches, according to the National Climatic Data Center, beating the previous low of 14.99 inches set in 1917.

And keep in mind that it was even worse than it seems, as several inches in that final tally only turned in the last few weeks of the year where, as welcome as it was, it did jack-all for farmers.

Actual, Real, Honest to Goodness RAIN

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

For the first time since it rained about five minutes one night three or four months ago. And before that it might have been another three or four months.

A good thing, too, since it’s been so dry here the cacti have been dying of thirst:

I took that picture along the Rattan Creek greenbelt earlier this week…

Central Texas Fire Updates (with video)

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Here’s the Statesman update.

Some YouTube videos I grabbed:

Removed the KVUE video embed because it’s farking up my page loads.

Keep safe…

10 PM Update: 25 homes lost in Steiner Ranch.

10:55 PM Update: Parts of Dripping Springs being told to evacuate.

More video, this time from the Southeast corner of the Griffith League Scout Ranch property near Lost Pines:

Also got an email back from Michael Moorcock, who says he’s OK, and that they haven’t been asked to evacuate yet.

Steiner Ranch Evacuated Due to Fire Hazard

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

So I’m hearing. Drought + high winds = fire hazard.

And Steiner Ranch is only about 15 miles from here. On the other hand, the land around here is flat rather than the hill country arroyos that make fires easier to start and harder to fight. And I have managed to keep the overwhelming majority of my lawn alive.

Be safe, everyone. And if you haven’t done it before, now might be a good time to figure out what you need for a “bugout bag” and make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher in your house…

More news here.

What It’s Like in Austin Today

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Just in case you were wondering…

How Hot Is It, Johnny?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Here in Texas, we’re pretty much used to it hitting 100º for several days running in the summer. What we’re not so used to is it hitting 105º every day for weeks on end. Lately it’s been about 95º when I went out to walk my dog at 10:30 at night.

This is, to say the least, unpleasant.

We’re also breaking power-consumption records.

This is the hottest summer I can remember, and the drought is even worse. Not only is it worse than any I can remember, it’s the worst since they started keeping rainfall records. In 1895.

If you need visual confirmation, this graphic should do the trick:

100% of the state is under drought conditions, and 75% are suffering from D4 exceptional drought. Maybe they need to add a D5 level: “It’s dead, Jim.” Yes, it’s worse statistically than the Dust Bowl. (Thank modern agriculture, irrigation and lack of wind for not picking up the topsoil and dropping it on other states.) It also threatens record agricultural losses.

I fully expect it to be cooler in Reno for the Worldcon than it will be in Austin.

One consolation: So far, it doesn’t look like we’ll break the all-time record for the hottest day in Austin history, which was 112º on September 5th, 2000. That was not fun. (I was out riding my bike the day before, when it only hit a temperate 109º…)

The Sun Wants to KILL YOU

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Some nice turns of phrase (pathetic fallacy division) from the inimitable James Lileks:

At the center of every solar system, perhaps, there’s not a benevolent disc that paints the world with light and heat, but a raging devil shouting its hate wordlessly across the void….Every civilization that has ever, and will ever, exist in this galaxy or the millions of galaxies in the heavens, revolves around a suicide bomber.

I just thought that was a nifty turn of phrase and, being in a part of Texas suffering from one of the worst droughts ever, it struck a certain chord…

Water Falling From the Sky

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Attention Austinites: That wet stuff falling from the sky is called “rain.” I know you may not have seen these in some time, but it’s a naturally occurring phenomena.

It should also help ease our extreme drought.

In celebration, here’s Ladysmith Black Mombazo with “Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain.”