Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Our high temperature of 107° yesterday marked the 70th day this summer that the temperature has attained triple digit marks. The old record of 69 days was set back in that horrendous summer of 1980, but we were better or worse, like the heat or not. Putting this all in perspective – our average number of summer days at 100° or above is eighteen (18) so we are literally in a rarified atmosphere all thanks to La Nina and a dome of high pressure that just won’t move. Despite some thundershowers to our northwest this morning we will probably hit 100° again today further solidifying our hold on the record.

We are not alone with cities and regions all across the southwest setting equally impressive marks. Even in the deep Piney Woods of east Texas my old haunt of Lufkin set a new record this year. Horror of horrors with their recently extended burn ban, no barbecuing is even allowed…

Long after this record fails to impress and is lost in weather history, the effects of this heat wave will be felt. As we have reported in earlier posts, already compromised building foundations, streets and other utilities are continuing to deteriorate. The Texas power grid has been pushed into the red zone and beyond. Texas agriculture and ranching have been substantially compromised and probably changed forever. The long term effects of the drought will soon be seen in the trees and landscapes of our area. Already over three and one half million acres have burned in Texas including numerous new fires and the horrendous Bastrop fire near Austin which after two weeks and the heroics of firefighters is still only 60% contained. The area has been described alternately as a war zone and “volcanic” by state officials.

No sense of pride here, just survival. Questions heard on the street include, “Where’s a hurricane when you need one?” and “Can a tee shirt be far behind?”


Ned Buxton

PS. That morning rain never arrived save a few scattered drops that just seemed meant to tantalize. The Bastrop fire is now 75% contained though has now attained status as the worst fire in Texas history. Last night the recovery process was in full swing as the Bastrop Bears defeated San Marcos Rattlers, 48-23 in football. During the halftime ceremonies the community honored and thanked all the first responders and firefighters who continue to work on their behalf.



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