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Texas Record RainfallNovember 9, 2000 — Volatile November weather patterns spawned high winds, record rainfall, tornadoes and deadly flash floods in north and central Texas, but most Texans are not complaining after a summer of searing temperatures and the state's worst drought since NOAA's National Weather Service began keeping records more than a hundred years ago.

By November 8, the month's rainfall total was almost four inches above the norm for that date and the total rainfall for the year (30.29 inches) actually exceeded the normal year-to-date rainfall (30.28). November also saw a new record for rainfall in a 24-hour period at the official measuring site at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. A total of 2.14 inches was recorded Sunday, November 5, breaking the previous 24-hour record of 1.59 inches set in 1957.

The heavy rainfall was the result of a slow moving east-west front over Texas interacting with abundant tropical moisture from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

While the November rainfall has provided welcome relief for north Texas, it does not mean the drought is over.

"We have to remember that the devastating effects of this drought are not just the result of one dry summer—but of several years of high temperatures and low rainfall," said Bill Proenza, director of the National Weather Service for the southern United States. "The good news is that our outlook calls for a warmer, wetter winter throughout the southern region. If we continue to see above normal precipitation for the rest of the year and normal precipitation in the spring, we'll be on the road to recovery. But we have a long way to go."

After years of below-average precipitation, area reservoirs are finally getting much needed replenishment, but their levels are still well below the norm. Reservoirs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are currently averaging 1.5 to 14.5 feet below their normal levels. Reservoirs in south central Texas are faring only slightly better with averages of 1.5 to seven feet below normal.

The welcome relief from the long, hot summer has not come without a price tag. Severe storms and flooding across Texas have claimed six lives, injured many others, caused extensive property damage and delayed or canceled numerous flights.

National Weather Service forecast offices in Texas issued 25 tornado warnings, 76 severe thunderstorm warnings, 223 flash flood warnings and hundreds of weather statements, watches and advisories from November first through the eighth.

The current state forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with some sunny breaks and warmer temperatures through the weekend. Daytime highs should be mostly in the 50's and 60's across the state and morning lows from around 40 to the upper 40's near the coast. There are a few weekend showers expected over the central portion of the state but more likely in the east.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Drought Information Center

NOAA's National Weather Service Forecast Office in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas

NOAA's National Weather Service Southern Region

NOAA's Fire Weather Information Center

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center

Media Contact:
Ron Trumbla, NOAA's National Weather Service Southern Region, (817) 978-4613 ext. 140 or Curtis Carey, NOAA's National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622