For most of Texas, 2011 is now the hottest year on record while city after city shatter records of 100 degree days. Texas is in a severe drought, only averaging about 1 inch of rain during July, and in many areas things are becoming desperate.
Wichita Falls and San Angelo have topped 95 and 93 days of 100 degree temperatures as of the end of August. Of 13 major cities that have broken all-time records, Amarillo shatters it’s old record by nearly doubling the number of its 100F days (50). Even the average of those cities broke their old records by a 23% margin.
As of August 31, 2011,
Texas cities that have broken records of 100 degree days
Wichita Falls (95 days)
San Angelo (93 days)
Waco (79 days)
Abilene (78 days)
Austin (76 days)
Tyler (75 days)
Midland (63 days)
College Station (58 days)
Lufkin (56 days)
Amarillo (50 days)
Lubbock (48 days)
Victoria (48 days)
Houston (41 days)
The latest 100 degree 2011 data can be found here, NWS Southern Region Headquarters.
The thirst quenched lands are burning nearly 10 major wildfires at this time that are consuming nearly 20,000 acres around the state. 11,000 fires during the past year have consumed three-and-a-half million acres. Lake beds have gone dry.
Crops have turned to dust. Trees that usually don’t shed their leaves until November have already turned brown and given up on this year. Cattle are being culled because there’s no hay to feed them.
If you go out at the cattle auctions, they’re having five and 10 times the number of cows for sale, because the state is emptying itself of its cattle. They’re auctioning the cattle because they can’t afford them. If you don’t have water, you will run the rubber off your tires trying to truck water in for your cattle. A bale of hay is going between $65 to $85. There’s no way to keep a large herd going if you are having to pay that much for hay. This hay is usually used in the wintertime. “We’re having to use up all of what hay we have right now. What are we going to do when February comes? That’s going to be a big problem.”
There could be a bit of good news on the horizon as a tropical storm is currently developing in the Gulf. The consensus seems to be that Louisiana and Texas could get drenched with as much as 20 inches of rain.
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