Let’s Talk About the Weather in Texas

Fellow Texans, if you were one of the people who pleaded with God last winter to get us out of the worst freeze on record in 80+ years; and promised Him you’d never complain about summer heat ever again – thanks, a lot. Ok, Lord, I think they’ve learned their lesson; and you’ve had your laugh over it all. Now, can we get some relief?

Actually, I write this for my non-Texas friends. For those who have written saying they saw the Texas weather details at locations all across the country. Yes, it is bad. We were hurtling toward a new record of the most consecutive triple-digit degree days, but only got to 40 consecutive days when we got one relief afternoon where the temperature dropped to 98. The previous record had been 42 days. (So close!)

Today, August 25, 2011, is the 59th day this summer with temps over 100. July was 30 out of 31 days in triple-digits. August has been pretty much the same. This puts us within 10 days of the record number of triple-digit days in a summer (non-consecutive). The current record is 69 days set in summer of 1980. Forecasters are saying this record is definitely in reach since there’s no cool air headed our way until at least mid-September.


Yep, this is what the forecast looks like every day.

Actually, you adapt. Life goes on, much like it does up north when temperatures drop below zero. You still go to work, to the store, to school, etc. Amelia has still had high school marching band practice outside every day since August 1st. JJ has still had football practice at school – outside, after school in the blazing afternoon sun. You drink a lot and take breaks, but keep going.


Hot temps all over Texas.

We did break the Dallas area record for number of days with overnight lows at 80 degrees or higher. We broke that record back on August 17th. There’s no evening breeze or cool air to make it relaxing to step outside after dark and enjoy the summer night sky. Deana and I went for a walk this evening at 9:00 pm. It was still 102, even in the dark, and felt like walking a couple miles in an oven. Even getting up before sunrise doesn’t make much difference. Many morning when I’ve gone out super-early with Coco, the starting temp has still been around 85 degrees.


I think I could handle the heat if it wasn’t for the lack of rain we’ve had this summer. All of Texas continues in a severe drought. It looks like late fall around here with so many trees having brown, dried up leaves hanging from them; if they even still have leaves left on them at all. Despite daily watering, Deana’s flowering pot outside my home office window shriveled up and lost all it’s flowers. To her credit, she’s continued to nurse that thing along and it’s finally growing back some tiny green leaves. But I’m not sure she’ll ever coax anymore flowers from the poor thing.

Even the forecasters have stopped sounding hopeful.

We’ve walked across fields with cracks so big my leg could fit inside. Most people have brown yards where green grass used to be. People without sprinkler systems only have crunchy, yellowed “hay” where their lawn used to be. Even the weeds have slowed down their growth. We’re under drought restrictions for watering; so if you pass a green yard, you know that person is breaking the lawn restrictions.

It’s impacting other businesses in ways more profound than the appearance of a lawn. Lake-based businesses are losing money with little activity on low lakes, some around the stage have even gone completely dry. The news is filled with stories of ranchers who are selling off their entire herds for transportation north. They can’t sustain even a small heard when all the grazing fields have dried up and there’s no way to get water to your animals.

Rain is by far the most pressing need. Current weather-models don’t seem to indicate any good precipitation until at least next spring.


We’ve only had to mow about every three weeks! And by “we,” I mean, “Deana.” Also, the snake population has dramatically decreased. Think worms on sidewalks in the sun. They dry up quickly and die. Though our house is only about 50 yards from the creek, snakes aren’t venturing up toward our house or the road lately. They’re staying close to the creek bed where they at least have a trickle of water remaining. Our creek is a luxury to give the snakes a place to go. Officials are starting to warn people (who don’t have creeks) about an expected snake infestation into residential areas as the snakes begin seeking the moisture of homes with lawn sprinklers and foundation soaker hoses. I feel safe because we have hundreds of lizards all over outside. We’ve not had lizards at our house in the 2.5 years we’ve lived here because the snakes have always eaten them. As long as I see the abundance of lizards running up the front of the house and garage door each evening, I’m not worried about the snakes. Now, if the lizards suddenly disappear, I’ll stop going outside barefoot.


At this point, the heat and drought has resulted in the following weather alerts and governmental warnings:
– Heat Advisory
– Air Quality Alert
– Level 2 Power Warning (energy conservation in the afternoons due to severe power use with AC units because school is back in session)
– Drought Conservation Action Plan
– Wildfire Warnings

Plus, sitting in football stands, watching a game and listening to the band when it’s well over 100-degrees is just wrong. We’re wearing minimal clothing, trying to stay hydrated, all while sitting on aluminum benches that are at least 115 in the sun. But, nonetheless, we’ll be there tomorrow night. It’s what we do. Texans are just tough like that.

But, we could still use your prayers. Thanks for caring.


These are the top stories we keep hearing day after day.

Posted: August 25, 2011 
Filed under: Jeff, Texas
Tagged: , , , , ,
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