Why I Won’t Fall for Fall Weather in Texas This Year

Sep 13, 2016
Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It’s September! It must be fall!

I know this because you can’t raise an eyebrow right now without hearing about football games or school starting or the latest fall fashions. September’s on the calendar, in the newscasts, planted firmly in the zeitgeist.

Thinking about it — this new, exciting season — I get a little shiver. Isn’t that a nip in the air I just felt? No, it’s just the air-conditioning going full throttle.


Jaime Chapoy/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

East Texas has seen multiple deadly downpours this year. Yet in south Texas, Brooks County Sheriff-elect Benny Martinez says he wants it to rain along the border to alleviate the unbearable heat. “I’m hoping the rains continue,” Martinez said Monday. “I’m hoping we get a hurricane.”

The heat index down south was over 100 degrees for most of July, which has in part contributed to the hundreds of migrant deaths. Kristian Hernandez, with the McAllen Monitor, says the sheriff’s bold statement comes from his experience with the effect the heat can have on migrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border.

Mose Buchele

Kahraman Barut is one lucky guy.

He just moved to Austin from Turkey on Sunday, so the unusually cool, wet weather we've been experiencing is all he knows of our local summers.

“I’m really shocked actually," he says. "I wasn’t expecting this."

John Richardson’s lived here 20 years. He can't remember August days this cool and rainy, he says.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Over the past week, the Brazos River has risen to its highest level in more than 100 years. The rains that caused the overflow have led to at least six deaths in Texas.

Meteorologists are predicting that some 10 inches of rain will fall in the Houston area over the next several days. If so, we may be looking at another round of devastation in the fourth largest city in the nation. Houston has activated its emergency operations center.

Alex Steffler/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Today marks the beginning of hurricane season – and with it, stories about hurricane preparedness. There's no shortage of them, seeing as how we've recently capped off National Hurricane Preparedness Week. 

UPDATE 5 p.m.: There's a flash flood warning in effect for southwest Austin and western Travis County until 6:30 p.m.

Mose Buchele/KUT

We’ve had a pretty rainy April here in Central Texas, with more rain ahead for May.  During our weekly deluge, you might have noticed a lot of rain seems to fall in the middle of the night.  Well, KUT’s Mose Buchele has always wondered why. So, he took his questions to Time Warner Cable News meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Lower Colorado River Authority manages the water used in much of Central Texas and parts downstream. For most of the last several years it’s been worried about drought  – but not anymore. Earlier this week, the LCRA opened floodgates below Lake Travis for the first time since 2007 to allow excess water out. Now, the abundance of water is bringing its own set of challenges to the agency.

Update Tuesday 8:50 a.m. – The National Weather Service has canceled the flash flood watch for much of Central Texas, though DeWitt, Fayette and Lavaca counties still remain under watch.

Update 7:50 a.m.  Parts of Bastrop, Travis, Hays and Lee counties are under flash flood warnings this morning. The flash flood watch continues until tomorrow morning, as more rain is forecast for today and overnight tonight. 

As of right now, 178 low water crossings have been closed in Central Texas. You can find a map of closures at, and below you can see a full list of updated school delays and closures. 

Why Are There So Few Basements in Texas?

Jan 12, 2016
Christopher Connelly/KERA

Growing up in Indiana, Phil Crone loved having a bedroom in the basement.

“It was dark. It was cold. I didn’t know the difference noon and 6 a.m.,” he says. “It was wonderful.”

So when Crone, who now heads the Dallas Builders Association, moved down to Texas, he started asking why there are so few basements. After all, meteorologists say basements are one of the best places to take shelter during a tornado. 

Mose Buchele/KUT

Hundreds are displaced in Bastrop County after flooding that began in Travis and Hays counties on Friday. The emergency is a reminder that floods don’t stop just because the rain does. 

Pixabay user Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Weather experts have a way with words – like 'polar vortex' and 'superstorm' – and now, 'Godzilla' El Niño. Of course, forecasting is an imperfect science, but if predictions hold, Texas could soon see some serious rainfall.

For now, most of the state has been pretty dry so it may be the perfect time to make a few repairs and plans in preparation for potential downpours.

Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor with Kiplinger. She joined the Texas Standard to advise us on how to prioritize.

National Weather Service

Wednesday 4 p.m. Some heavy rainfall hit the Austin area this afternoon, and the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning that will remain in place until 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday 4:30 a.m. The University of Texas at Austin has announced it will re-open at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and will operate on a regular schedule. Travis County offices will operate on a normal schedule today. City of Austin offices will be back on a regular schedule today. Since the Austin area was not hard hit by Tropical Depression Bill, Capital Metro expects all routes to run on regular schedules today. Hays CISD and Leander ISD will operate on their normal summer schedules today.

All Austin Community College campuses and centers will open and operate on a regular schedule today.

1:15 a.m. The National Weather Service has canceled the flash flood warning that was in effect for Travis, Williamson and Bastrop counties.

12:30 a.m. Bill's strength continues to diminish as it moves inland, says the National Weather Service. Rain is coming down now at a rate of an inch per hour in some parts of Central Texas.

12:20 a.m. National Weather Service says that now Bill is centered over Bastrop County and is starting to move north. It's raining in Austin, but no reports yet of torrential downpours in the city.

National Weather Service

UPDATE: 7:44 a.m.: The flash flood watch for Central Texas has expired.

Overnight storms brought over an inch of rain to pockets of East Austin, but the majority of the rain fell northwest of the Austin area, forcing LCRA to open up flood gates at both the Starcke and Wirtz dams. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Llano County until early Saturday morning. Last night's rains have brought the Llano River up to 11.95 feet, though officials say the rise won't cause any damage to properties in the area. 

Via Pixabay.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Drought Monitor puts out a map every week that updates drought conditions in Texas. This week’s map looked mostly white – which indicates no drought at all – with some peach, orange and red in the center – indicating moderate to exceptional drought.

Last year at this time, only small parts of the state were in the clear. Two years ago, 99 percent of the state was in some level of drought.

UPDATE Thursday 4:00 a.m.: The National Weather Service has downgraded the winter storm warning to a winter weather advisory in effect until 9:00 a.m. The winter storm warning that had been in effect for the area has been canceled. The National Weather Service says the area has received less precipitation than expected and the impacts on travel will not be as significant as originally thought, though there could still be some icy patches on bridges, overpasses, and elevated roadways. A wind advisory is also in effect for Central Texas until 9:00 a.m. Thursday.

Austin Resource Recovery will not make curbside collections of trash, recycling, and yard trimmings on Thursday.  Service will slide to one day later for Thursday and Friday customers this week.

The cities of Georgetown and Kyle will open their city offices at 10:00 a.m. Thursday.

Huston-Tillotson University will open at 1:30 p.m., with classes starting at 2:30 p.m. Concordia University will open at noon today. All operations at St. Edward's University  operations are now scheduled to begin at 12:30 Thursday.

This week, All Things Considered is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?

Joanne Nabors via Twitter

Half a foot of rain pelted the city of Austin and the surrounding area last night, with rainfall totals topping out at seven inches in the Walnut Creek area and Downtown Austin receiving a bit less than five inches of rain.

The National Weather Service’s flash flood warning for Travis and Williamson Counties expired before 5 a.m., but the city’s still tackling flooded roadways in Spicewood Springs. Additionally, Austin-Travis County EMS used a helicopter to evacuate 13 campers stranded on the Colorado River, dropping them safely near Webberville Road. Below, you can view the latest flood updates, and a list of downed trees, delayed public transportation and power outages in Austin.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Rising summer temperatures could lead to expanded waistlines, according to a study announced today by University of Texas researchers.

Research from Paul von Hippel, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, has shown that adults living in counties with the highest and lowest temperatures are the least active and by extension, the most obese. This especially holds true for areas with humid summers and dark winters.

Hippel and co-author Rebecca Benson, a UT doctoral student, studied each of the 3,000 counties in the United States, assessing different variables that could predict why some counties were more obese than others. Many of the counties in the Southeast account for areas with the highest rates of obesity. The mountain West, with cool, dry summers, represents the lowest proportion of obese adults.

Another Round Of Tornadoes Rakes Through The South

Apr 29, 2014

A day after a line of severe storms spawned tornadoes blamed for the death of at least 15 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the South was raked again.

This time, Mississippi and Alabama were hard hit.

CNN reports: