Tag Archives: Texas Weather

The Last Full Day of Summer

Red’s favorite season is, without a doubt, Fall.  In much of Texas it lasts from November 1 to Christmas.   Even a month of a really good Fall is worth waiting all year long for.  The official end of summer is typically more of way station on the route to another month of summer-like weather.  But on the last day of summer, there is hope in the air that the last of the punishing heat is on the wane and that the days that make you want to live in this state are on the way.  So celebrate the Autumnal Equinox tomorrow morning at 3:22 a.m. and maybe just maybe Fall will come a little early this year.  And while we typically don’t get the spectacular Fall displays common to other parts of the U.S., Red predicts that there will be some decent Fall color in Texas this year.  We deserve it.

Photo of Lost Maples State Natural Area from Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Cricket Season is Almost Here

Red remembers walking around the Capitol Building on a hot September night many years ago and it seemed the whole façade was swarming with crickets.  Red had flashbacks to that invasion of the giant grasshoppers movie that scared the living daylights out of him on one of his first sleepovers.  The experts claim that conditions might be just right for another massive cricket invasion in the next few weeks.  KXAN has the details.

 It’s the time of year when people will hear more chirping as crickets start to pop up around Central Texas.  “The best indication of a cricket outbreak is past history and in the past, Texas has experienced big cricket outbreaks,” explained Alex Wild, Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas. He said those outbreaks in past years happened when there was a lot of food for crickets to eat, followed by a dry summer and then rain at the end of summer.

“Only time can tell, it looks like it might be a good season, but until we see the washes of crickets piling up on our porches, it’s going to be hard to predict,” said Wild.

Exterminators like Joe Cantu, Vice President of Operations for Bug Master, said they tend to see more cricket activity between August and September. “It’s one of those pests where nobody wants to have around. It’s a nuisance pest, they’re overwhelming, they really smell, so the phone starts ringing,” said Cantu.

Experts suggest people control the lighting around their homes and businesses because crickets are attracted to the lights at night. Cantu said the critters will harbor in cracks and crevices during the day. “If you see them during the day pretty active, that’s a big problem,” said Cantu. “There’s a heavy pressure of crickets if you start seeing a lot of them during the day.”

“I don’t know what people’s issues are with crickets, I personally find them charming, but generally I don’t think businesses like having insects washed up in big numbers around their entrances,” said Wild.  “Sometimes if they’re are enough of them, they’ll pile up after mating when they’re at the end of their life cycle, they’ll just pile up and the bodies will pile up and that can lead to some pretty bad smells.”  Wild said crickets are, “harmless animals, they don’t bite or sting, it’s mainly just the nuisance of having things around that you weren’t expecting.”

One place where they may be unexpected are football games where the crickets are attracted to the lights.  “They might have just wanted to see the game but I’m not going to speak for the crickets,” said Wild jokingly.

Photo from Premium Crickets  – who knew?

Floods, Drought, Plague, Pestilence

The heavy rains of late spring and early summer have been followed up by unrelenting heat and no rain.  It rained at Casa Red for the first time in over a month last night, but it was about enough to settle the dust and make it really steamy.  There’s nothing like it being 102 degrees and raining.  And it aint only Red’s begonias that are suffering – many cities in the state had a record dry July.  The Weather Channel has more.

No rain was recorded in Waco during July and this rainless streak has continued through the first 11 days of August. The last time there was measurable rainfall was June 30 when 0.01 inches fell. That makes 42 consecutive days with no rain. There are two other Julys on record with no rainfall (1993 and 1930) and the average rainfall for the month is 2.03 inches. This comes after Waco experienced their 11th wettest May, with 9.27 inches of rainfall. 

Tyler recorded its driest July on record with no measurable rainfall and no rain has been seen through August 11. At the opposite end of the spectrum May was the wettest on record with 11.83 inches recorded. It was a very wet spring as the city saw its second wettest April with 8.68 inches of rain, and second wettest March with 8.02 inches. 

It has not rained in Dallas since July 8 when 0.92 inches of rain fell making 34 consecutive days with no precipitation, making it the longest dry streak since 2000 and placing in the top-ten longest dry streaks on record. This is quite the change from this spring which saw the wettest May on record when 16.96 inches of rain drenched the city. April and June also saw above average rainfall. 

Austin-Bergstrom just saw their driest July on record with only 0.01 inches recorded, which beat the previous record of 0.02 inches set in 1994, 1986 and 1951. On the opposite end of the spectrum, May was the second wettest, courtesy of the 13.44 inches of rain that fell. Austin at Camp Mabry saw its second driest July with only a trace measured and this is after seeing their wettest May with 17.59 inches of rain recorded. No rain has been observed through August 11.

Another city that has gone from flood to drought is Houston. Only 0.61 inches of rain was measured in Houston this July, which is 3.18 inches below average. This July, in fact, was the fourth driest on record which comes after the fifth wettest May and eighth wettest June when 14.17 inches and 11.39 inches, respectively, were recorded. The end of May was also marked by extensive flooding in the Houston metro area.

Is Texas Weather Really That Bad?

Jacquielynn Floyd of the Dallas Morning News wonders if Texas is the worst place in the Nation for for catastrophic weather events and natural disasters.

After a series of devastating 2011 tornadoes and floods in the U.S., The New York Times commissioned data analysts at Sperling’s Best Places to rank hundreds of metro areas by their relative safety from natural disasters.

Their findings: If you’re paranoid about such things, move to the Pacific Northwest. In ranking 379 metropolitan areas — where 85 percent of people in the country live — seven of the safest 10 are in Washington state.

The part you’ll want to chew on, though, is that six of the worst 10 are in Texas. And ranked at the tippy-top (or bottom, if you’re reading it that way), the riskiest place in the nation for catastrophic weather is — grab hold of a desk or something if you’re prone to giddiness — here. Us.

Today in Texas History

From the Annals of the Hail from Hell –  In 1995, a surprise and deadly hail storm struck Fort Worth  and Dallas.  The super-cell thunderstorm was characterized as the worst recorded hail storm to hit the U.S. in the 20th Century.  The storm hit on a warm Friday afternoon that had attracted many thousands to various outdoor venues and in particular the Fort Worth Mayfest.   The sudden storm caught many in the open when tennis-ball-sized hail began to fall.  Victims suffered broken bones, deep lacerations and bruises from the hail stones. The hail also caused considerable property damage in western Fort Worth.  It even disrupted air traffic throughout the country because of delays at DFW.  Seventeen people died in the storm – but none from hail.  Rather, flash flooding caused the fatalities with most of the victims being drowned after attempting to cross flooded areas in their cars.  Two people were killed when a water filled roof collapsed.  At the time, it was considered to be the costliest hail storm in U.S. history.