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The Drought Is Back In Parts Of Texas

Ann Worthy/Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the drought is back in Texas; what’s new at this fall’s State Fair of Texas; Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges is all over the place; and more.

The drought is back in some parts of Texas. Most of East Texas is now either in a moderate drought or a severe drought – that’s about 22 percent of the state. North Texas and Central Texas are considered “abnormally dry,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought-free life didn’t last long. Just last month, the state was drought free.

North Texas has gone nearly 40 consecutive days without rain, according to the National Weather Service. That’s based on weather conditions at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Our rainless streak is among the longest on record, the weather service says. It’s No. 6 on the list of longest rainless streaks. And Waco hasn’t seen rain since June.

There is a chance of thunderstorms today, mainly for areas west of Dallas-Fort Worth, the weather service says. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see highs in the upper 90s over the next several days.  

No rolling blackouts were needed Thursday after Texas’ biggest electrical grid issued a conservation alert. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas appealed for electricity consumers to cut their demand during Thursday afternoon peak demand hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The period passed with no loss of reliability.

In a statement Thursday, ERCOT said several generation unit outages occurred. With temperatures still high, although not at their summer peak seen earlier this week in many parts of the state, ERCOT asked customers during peak demand hours to turn thermostats up by 2 to 3 degrees, close drapes and curtains, shut off pool pumps, limit large appliance use and cook with microwave ovens or slow cookers. [KERA/Associated Press]

Credit U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions have returned to some parts of Texas.

  • There’s a big effort happening Saturday to adopt animals from shelters. KXAS-TV (NBC5) and other NBC-owned stations across the country are organizing “Clear the Shelters” day. NBC5 reports: “Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. participating shelters have agreed to waive all adoption fees* (spay/neuter fee) that day in hopes of attracting even more people interested in giving a furry friend a forever home. However, other shelter fees may still apply. …The ultimate goal of the event is to help as many animals as possible find their perfect match. Last year, North Texans helped us find forever homes for more than 2,200 animals.” Learn more – and find a list of North Texas shelters -- here.

  • There are several new features at the State Fair of Texas this fall. The fair passes along some details. There’s the Lone Star Horse Spectacular, which is a mix of horses and history – the show features professional riders on horseback and an exploration of Texas’ past. Big Texas Music is the annual exhibit at the Hall of State, which honors “well-known Texas artists through memorabilia, audiovisual displays and social interactives, as well as daily live music performances from a wide variety of artists.” Gutarras de Mexico at the Women’s Museum will feature the history of guitars, guitar makers and guitarists. Learn more at the State Fair’s website.

  • “Sesame Street” will soon start airing on HBO – and PBS. The New York Times reports: “Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, has struck a deal with HBO, the premium cable network, that will bring the next five seasons of ‘Sesame Street’ to HBO and its streaming outlets starting this fall. The partnership will allow Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of ‘Sesame Street’ episodes and other new programming. The group will produce 35 new ‘Sesame Street’ episodes a year, up from the 18 it produces now.” The deal comes down to money, the Times says: “Sesame’s business has struggled in recent years because of the rapid rise of streaming and on-demand viewing and the sharp decline in licensing income.” The popular children's show will continue to air on PBS and a PBS spokeswoman says the partnership doesn’t change the “fundamental role PBS and stations play in the lives of families.” In North Texas, “Sesame Street” airs weekdays on KERA-TV, Channel 13, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. [The New York Times]

  • For some Friday entertainment: Leon Bridges. The Fort Worth native has been all over the place. He was on “The Tonight Show” earlier this summer. He was featured in Texas Monthly recently. A few weeks ago, Bridges performed on Elm Street, the Dallas Observer reported. And NPR recently interviewed Bridges. And KXT reports: “After touring Europe and the U.K., he’ll be back stateside with 20 new North American dates scheduled for this fall. And KXT is thrilled to present his homecoming performance on Saturday, November 14 at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.” 
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.