Monday, September 12, 2011

We Need To Pray for Texas

In the grips of the worst one-year drought in the history of Texas, things don't look like they will get better any time soon. In fact, 100+ temperatures are still the norm in the forecast.

Here are a few facts to put it in perspective:
  • Texas' current drought is the most severe one-year drought on record, according to Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon of Texas A&M University. 
  • Texas had the warmest summer for any state going back to 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The state's average temperature was 86.8 degrees Fahrenheit (30.4 degrees Celsius). 
  • August 2011 was the hottest month in Texas history, according to the NCDC. The average temperature was 88.1 F (31.2 C), breaking the previous record of 87.1 F (30.6 C) set last month. 
  • In San Angelo, Texas, the record for warmest month was set three times in three months from June to August, according to the National Weather Service. 
  • June to August was the driest summer on record, with only 2.44 inches of precipitation. 
Putting it in perspective: 
  • January through August 2011 has seen only 7.47 inches (6.2 centimeters) of precipitation, also a new record to that stretch. 
  • The most severe Texas drought overall is still the 1950-1957 drought. During the most intense year of that drought, 1956, Texas set its all-time record for lowest 12-month precipitation, 13.69 inches (34.8 cm) ending in September. 
  • Levels of extreme (81 percent) and exceptional (14 percent) drought in Texas totaled 95 percent of the state's area, according to the Drought Monitor. 
Wildfire woes: 
  • The hot and dry weather has created dangerous fire conditions. Nearly 18,612 wildfires have burned 3.5 million acres of Texas so far this year, according to the Texas Forest Service. That's about the size of Connecticut. 
  • Wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes statewide. 
  • Six of the 10 largest wildfires in Texas history occurred in 2011. 
  • Texas has been fighting wildfires since Nov. 15, 2010. 
  • The damages from this year's wildfires are estimated at more that $5 billion, according to news reports.
Pray for relief. Pray for rain. Pray for Texas.

No comments: