Pray for Rain

In his January Climatic Bulletin, published earlier this month, state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon documented Texas's "extraordinarily dry" and "unseasonably warm" January -- and warned of more months just like it to come "as La Nina conditions begin to develop in the Pacific Ocean." Last week, Texas A&M geography prof Steve Quiring proclaimed that "drought conditions for most of the state have gone from bad to worse over the past few months." And, though Dallas-Fort Worth has so far dodged the worst of the historic drought, it's only a matter of time. Which is why this morning's New York Times surveys the state of the state's water supply and comes up dry: Says a farmer near Thrall in Williamson County, "We make the joke we can't even grow weeds this winter."

Incidentally, Fort Worth freelance photographer David Kozlowski has on his Flickr page an astounding, frightening series of photos taken over the weekend near Lamesa, where he encountered a "freak dust storm" while returning to the DFW from Lubbock. Noted one comment on his blog, it "looks like depression era dust bowl ready to strike again."

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