Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather — is this the new normal for Texas?

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It Will Take an Insane Amount of Rain Before the Highland Lakes Recover

Central Texas is having a pretty decent year, rain-wise. We’re sitting just below normal. And it’s been a good week, too: early Thursday, one part of Austin got over seven inches of rain. So much rain fell over downtown Austin that the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan along Lady Bird Lake looked like he was […]

Despite Some Rain, Drought Still Grips Texas Towns

Summer brought no relief from drought in many parts of Northwest Texas. But storms related to Hurricane Odile could bring some much needed rain. The region, like much of Texas, has been struggling with drought for years. Now some communities there are now faced with a difficult task: find new water, or go dry. Take […]

What an On-Again, Off-Again El Niño Means For Texas

Earlier this year Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose, liked what he was seeing in the forecast. “I’m optimistic that we will get into a pattern of above normal rainfall this fall continuing into next winter and possibly into next spring as well,” he said in April. But since then things changed. After much […]

Forecasters Decrease Number Of Hurricanes Expected During 2014

From Houston Public Media:  NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, has revised the number of named storms to between 7 and 12, and that maybe 2 of those named storms could be major, with winds greater than 110 mph. An average season can see up to 12 named storms. Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National […]

Brewing Beer With Less Water While Battling Drought in Texas

From KERA News: The drought has tested industries across Texas in the last few years — and it’s even had an impact on beer. One of MillerCoors’ mega-breweries is in south Fort Worth, and last year it produced 9 million barrels of beer. Environmental and sustainability engineer Lairy Johnson says the plant cut its water use by 9 percent. […]

Climate Change Clouds Future of El Niño Forecasting

In Central Texas, where water reservoirs sit at under 40 percent capacity, all eyes are on watch for El Niño, a global weather phenomenon that generally brings generous rain to the area. The National Weather Service predicts an 80 percent chance of a weak to moderate El Niño this fall, dampening hopes for a season […]

Seem Hazy in Central Texas? It’s All Saharan Dust in the Wind

Some Texans have been able to enjoy exceptional sunsets this week as billions of tiny grains of dust from afar traverses our skies. A dusty drifter from 6,500 miles away — a giant mass of super-fine sediment and dry air from the Sahara Desert — is visiting Central Texas this week. Saharan dust blows across the Caribbean […]

As Highland Lakes Near Record Low, Will They Ever Fill Again?

The combined storage of the Highland Lakes is expected to approach its record low – 30 percent full – by the end of this summer. After that, forecasters say, the El Niño weather pattern could bring some relief. But how much rain would it take to get them full again? The total volume of water in the […]

New Carbon Rules Could Have Big Impact on Texas

Big changes could be coming for Texas power plants. The Obama administration is announcing new rules today aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants – the chief culprit behind global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants in the U.S. by 30 percent (from […]

Months Behind Schedule, New Water Well Finally Arriving For Spicewood Beach

  Behind the counter of a general store just off Highway 71, Kim Clifton, the cashier, shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head when asked about the lingering drought. “We just need more rain,” she says. She rolls her head back to let out an exasperated laugh, “Bring the rain! Bring it!” It’s something you […]

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