Satellite image of Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita nears the Texas coast in 2005. NOAA satellite photo.

       March 28, 2000: Tornado. Fort Worth. A supercell over Fort Worth produced an F-3 tornado, which injured 80 people and caused significant damage. Flooding claimed the lives of two people.

       May 20, 2000: Rainstorm. Southeast Texas. A flash flood in the Liberty and Dayton area was caused by 18.3 inches of rain falling in five hours. Up to 80 people had to be rescued from the flood waters; property damage totalled an estimated $10 million.

       July 2000: Excessive heat resulted from a high-pressure ridge, particularly from the 12th to the 21st. Dallas/Fort Worth airport reported a 10-day average of 103.3°F. College Station had 12 consecutive days of 100°F or greater temperatures. The heat caused 34 deaths in North and Southeast Texas, primarily among the elderly.

       Aug. 2, 2000: Storm. Houston. Lightning struck a tree at Astroworld in Houston injuring 17 teens.

       Sept. 5, 2000: Excessive heat resulted in at least eight all-time high temperature records around the state, one of which was Possum Kingdom Lake, which reached 114°F. 

       Dec. 13 and 24-25, 2000: Ice/Snow. Two major winter storms blanketed Northeast Texas with up to six inches of ice from each storm. Eight inches of snow fell in the Panhandle, while areas in North Texas received 12 inches. Thousands of motorists were stranded on Interstate 20 and had to be rescued by the National Guard; 235,000 people lost electric service from the first storm alone. Roads were treacherous, driving was halted in several counties, and the total cost of damages from both storms reached more than $156 million.

       Jan. 1–31, 2001: Drought. South Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency received a Presidential Disaster Declaration in December 2000 because of persistent drought conditions in South Texas; $125 million in damage was reported in the region.

       May 2001: Storms. San Antonio, High Plains. Numerous storms causing excessive damage. Four-inch hail caused nearly $150 million in damages in San Antonio on the 6th. On the 30th, supercell thunderstorms in the High Plains region produced winds over 100 mph and golf-ball- sized hail caused more than $186 million in damage. All told, storms caused 36 injuries and more than $358 million in damage to property and agriculture.

       June–December 2001: Drought. Significant drought-like conditions occurred in Texas from early summer through December. After the yearly drought report was filed, it was determined that the total crop damage across the South Plains region was about $420 million. Consequential losses occurred to crops such as cotton, wheat, grain sorghum and corn.

       June 5–10, 2001: Tropical Storm Allison hit the Houston area, which dumped large amounts of rain on the city. The storm made landfall on the western end of Galveston Island and over the next five days produced record rainfall. These amazing amounts of precipitation led to devastating flooding across southeastern Texas. Some weather stations in the Houston area reported more than 40 inches of rain total and more than 18 inches in a 24-hour period. Twenty-two deaths and $5.2 billion in damage resulted.

       July–August 2001: Excessive heat plagued Texas during July and August, which resulted in 17 deaths in the Houston area.

       Oct. 12, 2001: Tornado. Hondo. An F2 tornado  caused $20 million in damage. The tornado injured 25 people and damaged the National Guard Armory and a large hangar at the Hondo Airport, as well as nearly two dozen aircraft. Some 150 homes in Hondo and 50 on its outskirts were damaged, and nearly 100 mobile homes were damaged.

       Nov. 15, 2001: Rainstorms. Central Texas. Storms caused flash flooding and some weak tornadoes in the Edwards Plateau, South Central and southern portions of North Central regions. Flash flooding caused 8 deaths and 198 injuries.

       March 2002: Storms. Central Texas. Several violent storms occurred, which produced hail, tornadoes and strong winds. Hail 1-3/4 inches in diameter caused $16 million in damage to San Angelo on the 19th, while 30 people where injured on the same day by an F2 tornado in Somerset, Bexar County, that also caused $2 million in damage. For the month, there were three fatalities, 64 injuries and more than $37.5 million in damage.

       June 30–July 7, 2002: Rainstorm. Central Texas. Excessive rainfall occurred in the South Central and Edwards Plateau regions, with some areas reporting more than 30 inches of rain. In the South Central region alone nearly $250 million dollars worth of damage was reported from this significant weather event. In Central Texas, 29 counties were devastated by the flooding and declared federal disaster areas by President George W. Bush. The total event damage was estimated at more than $2 billion.

       Sept. 5–7, 2002: Tropical Storm Fay. Coastal Plains. The storm made landfall along the coast on the 6th. This system produced extremely heavy rainfall, strong damaging wind gusts and tornadoes. Ten to 20 inches of rain fell in eastern Wharton County. Brazoria County was hit the hardest from this system with about 1,500 homes flooded. Tropical Storm Fay produced five tornadoes, flooded many areas and caused significant wind damage. Damage of $4.5 million was reported. 

       Oct. 24, 2002: Raintorms. South Texas. Severe thunderstorms in South Texas produced heavy rain, causing flooding and two tornadoes in Corpus Christi. The most extensive damage occurred across Del Mar College. The storm caused one death, 26 injuries and total damages exceeded more then $85 million in damage.

       Feb. 24–26, 2003: Snow/Ice. North Central Texas. A severe cold front brought freezing rain, sleet and snow to the North Central Texas. Snow accumulations were as high as 5 inches resulting in $15 million in damages. Most schools and businesses were closed for this period.

       April 8, 2003: Rainstorm. Brownsville. A severe thunderstorm caused one of the most destructive hail events in the history of Brownsville. Hail exceeded 2.75 inches in diameter and caused $50 million in damages to the city. At least 5 injuries were reported.

       July 14–16, 2003: Hurricane Claudette. Port O’Connor. The hurricane made landfall near Port O’Connor in the late morning hours of the 14th. At landfall, wind speeds were more than 90 mph. The system, which moved westward toward Big Bend and northern Mexico, caused 1 death and 2 injuries, and total damages were estimated at more than $100 million.

       Sept. 2003: Floods. Upper Coast, South Texas. Persistent flooding during the month caused more than $2 million in damages. The remnants of Tropical Storm Grace caused flash flooding along the Upper Coast region near Galveston early in September, with rainfall estimates in Matagorda County ranging from 6 to 12 inches. During the second half of the month, South Texas was hit with a deluge of rain caused by a tropical wave combined with approaching cold fronts, and monthly rainfall totals ranged from 7 to 15 inches throughout the deep south.

       June 1–9, 2004: Floods. North Central Texas. Flash flooding due to an upper air disturbance and associated cold front caused damage to more than 1,000 homes through North Central Texas. This was the first of many days in which heavy rains fell throughout the state. Estimated damages were more $7.5 million.

       June 21, 2004: Tornadoes. Panhandle. Severe weather kicked up just ahead of a frontal boundary causing damage to Amarillo and the surrounding area. Eight tornadoes were reported around the Panhandle, and there were many reports of hail, topping out at 4.25 inches in diameter in Potter County. Thousands of homes were damaged, and the total damage was estimated at more than $150 million.

       July 28–29, 2004: Rainstorm. North Central Texas. A stationary front lead to torrential rainfall in Dallas and Waco. Hundreds of homes were damaged by flash flooding, as 24-hour rainfall totals for the two cities approached 5 inches. Outlying areas of the cities reported as much as 7 inches of rain in a 12-hour period on the 29th. Damage estimates topped $20 million.

       Sept. 14, 2004: Storm. Grapeland. A lightning strike during football practice at Grapeland High School, Houston County, caused one death and injuries to 40 players and coaches.

Christmas snow in Galveston, 2004.

Galveston, 2004. Photo by Paul Joki.

Dec. 24–26, 2004: Snow. Coastal Texas. Large portions of Southeast and South Texas saw their first white Christmas in recorded history. A cold front past over the state a few days prior to Christmas Eve dropping temperatures below freezing. Another cold front brought snow, and it accumulated Christmas Eve night and into Christmas day. Galveston and Houston recorded 4 inches of snow, while areas even further south, such as Victoria, had 12 inches. Brownsville recorded 1.5 inches of snow.

     March 25, 2005: Hail. Austin. In the evening of March 25, the most destructive hailstorm in 10 years struck the greater Austin area. The storm knocked out power to 5,000 homes in northwest Austin. Hail of 2 inches in diameter was reported near the Travis County Exposition Center. Total damage was estimated at $100 million.

    May 2005–December 2006: Drought. In May, portions of North Central Texas were upgraded from moderate to severe drought. By the end of the May, the drought had made significant agricultural and hydrological impacts on the region. In November, many Central Texas counties were added to the drought. The Texas Cooperative Extension estimated statewide drought losses at $4.1 billion, $1.9 billion in North Texas alone.

      June 9, 2005: Tornado. Petersburg. An F-3 tornado affected the Petersburg area in southeast Hale County across to portions of southwest and south-central Floyd County. Total damage was estimated at $70 million.

      Sept. 23, 2005: Hurricane Rita. Southeast Texas. The eye of Hurricane Rita moved ashore in extreme southwest Louisiana between Sabine Pass and Johnson’s Bayou in Cameron Parish with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, category-3 strength. On Sept. 22, Rita had strengthened to a peak intensity of 175 mph winds. In Southeast Texas, Rita resulted in 3 fatalities, 3 injuries, and $159.5 million in property and crop damage. Property damage was estimated at $2.1 billion.

      Dec. 27, 2005: Wildfire. Cross Plains. A wildfire in Callahan County caused $11 million in property damages. The fire started just west of Cross Plains and quickly moved east, fanned by winds gusting near 40 mph. The fire moved into Cross Plains quickly and two elderly people were unable to escape the flames; 16 firefighters were also injured while fighting this fire.

      Jan. 1, 2006: Wildfires. North Texas. Several wildfires exploded across North Texas due to low humidity, strong winds and the ongoing drought. Fires were reported in Montague, Eastland and Palo Pinto counties. Five injuries were reported as well as $10.8 million in property damage.

      March 12–18, 2006: Wildfires. Borger. A wildfire now known as the Borger wildfire start four miles southwest of Borger, Hutchinson County. The wildfire burned a total of 479,500 acres. In all, seven people were killed and 28 structures were lost with total property damage at $49.9 million and crop damage at $45.4 million. A second wildfire known as the Interstate-40 wildfire burned 427,696 acres. The Texas Forest Service named the two wildfires the East Amarillo Complex. In all, 12 people were killed, total property damage was $49.9 million and crop damage was $45.4 million.

     March 19, 2006: Tornado. Uvalde. An F-2 tornado moved through the Uvalde area causing $1.5 million in property damage. It was the strongest tornado in South Central Texas since Oct. 12, 2001.

   April 11–13, 2006: Wildfire. Canadian. A wildfire 10 miles north of Canadian, Hemphill County, burned 18,000 acres and destroyed crops. Two injuries were reported. Total crop damage was estimated at $90 million.

     April 18, 2006: Hail. Gillespie County. Hailstones as large as 2.5 inches in diameter destroyed windows in homes and car windshields between Harper and Doss in Gillespie County. The hail also damaged 70 percent of the area peach crop, an estimated loss of $5 million.

    April 20, 2006: Hail. San Marcos. Hailstones as large at 4.25 inches in diameter (grapefruit-size) was reported south of San Marcos. Damage from this storm was estimated at $100 million with up to 10,000 vehicles damaged and another 7,000 vehicles at homes.

    May 4, 2006: Hail. Snyder. Lime-to-baseball-size hail fell across Snyder in Scurry County for a least 15 minutes. The hail was blown sideways at times by 60-to-70-mph winds. Total damage was estimated at $15 million.

     May 5, 2006: Tornado. Waco. A tornado with peak intensity estimated at low F-2. Total damage was $3 million.

     May 9, 2006: Tornado. Childress. An F-2 tornado resulted in significant damage along a one-and-one-half mile path through the north side of Childress during the evening hours. An instrument at Childress High School measured a wind gust of 109 mph. Property damage was estimated at $5.7 million.

     Aug. 1, 2006: Thunderstorms. El Paso. Storms in a saturated atmosphere repeatedly developed and moved over mainly the northwest third of El Paso County, concentrating in an area near the Franklin Mountains. Rainfall reports varied from 4–6 inches within 15 hours, with an isolated report of about 8 inches on the western slope of the mountain range. Antecedent conditions from 4 days of heavy rains, combined with terrain effects of the mountains, led to excessive runoff and flooding not seen on such a large scale in the El Paso area in more than 100 years. Property damage was estimated at $180 million.

     March 29, 2007: Floods. Corsicana. Flash flooding along Interstate 45 submerged two cars in Navarro County, north of Corsicana, and two feet of water was reported on I-45 and Texas 31, east of town. Damage to businesses, roads and bridges was estimated at $19 million.

     April 13, 2007: Hail. Colleyville. Teacup-size hail was reported in Colleyville as strong storms developed in Tarrant County. Hail damage to 5,500 cars and 3,500 homes and businesses was estimated at $10 million.

      April 24, 2007: Tornado. Eagle Pass. A large tornado crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico near 6 p.m., striking Rosita Valley, near Eagle Pass. Ten deaths were reported, including a family of five in a mobile home. Golf-ball size hail and the tornado struck Rosita Valley Elementary School, leaving only the interior walls standing. Damage indicated wind speeds near 140 mph and an F-3 level, with a path one-quarter mile wide and four miles long. The tornado also destroyed one 59 manufactured homes and 57 houses. Total damage was estimated at $80 million.

    June 17–18, 2007: Floods. North Texas. Torrential rain fell as an upper-level low lingered for several days. In Tarrant County, one person drowned after her rescue boat capsized. Hundreds of people were rescued from high water. In Grayson County, a woman died in floodwaters as she drove under an overpass, and another death occurred in a flooded truck. Three people in Cooke County died when a mobile home was carried away by floodwaters. Damage was estimated at $30 million in Tarrant County, $20 million in Grayson County and $28 million in Cooke County.

         June 27, 2007: Floods. Marble Falls. Two lines of thunderstorms produced 10–19 inches of rain in southern Burnet County. Hardest hit was Marble Falls, where two young men died in the early morning when their jeep was swept into high water east of town. Damage to more than 315 homes and businesses was $130 million.

         Sept. 13, 2007: Hurricane Humberto. Jefferson County. Hurricane Humberto made landfall around 1 a.m. in rural southwestern Jefferson County near McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. Minimum pressure was around 985 millibars, with maximum winds at 90 mph. Some flash flooding occurred in urban areas between Beaumont and Orange, as 11 inches of rain fell in Jefferson County. Coastal storm tides were 3–5 feet, with the highest storm surge occurring at Texas Point. Humberto caused one death, 12 injuries and $25 million in damage.

         March 31, 2008: Hail. Northeast Texas. Severe thunderstorms developed across the Red River valley of Northeast Texas, many producing large hail that damaged car windows, skylights and roofs in Texarkana and elsewhere in Bowie County. Damage was estimated at $120 million.

         April 10, 2008: Tornadoes. Johnson County. A lone supercell thunderstorm evolved in the afternoon on April 9, producing tornadoes and large hail. A tornado touched down near Happy Hill and traveled northeast 3 miles to Pleasant Point, where it dissipated. The F-1 tornado, with maximum wind speeds of 90–95 mph, destroyed three homes and damaged more than 30 homes and other buildings. Damage was $25 million.

         May 14, 2008: Hail. Austin. A severe thunderstorm southwest of Austin moved northeast across downtown Austin causing extensive damage from winds and large hail. Large trees and branches were knocked down, and baseball-size hail and 70–80 mph winds blew out windows in apartments and office buildings, including the State Capitol. Total damage was estimated at $50 million.

         August 18, 2008: Floods. Wichita Falls. An unseasonably strong upper-level storm system moved over North Texas, and several waves of heavy thunderstorms caused high precipitation and widespread flooding in the Iowa Park, Burkburnett and Wichita Falls areas. In Wichita Falls, many homes were flooded and residents were evacuated by boat. At least 118 homes were flooded, 19 of which were destroyed. Burkburnett and Iowa Park were isolated for a few hours because of street flooding. Damage was estimated at $25 million, and Gov. Rick Perry declared Wichita County a disaster area.

         Sept. 12, 2008: Hurricane Ike. Galveston. The eye of Hurricane Ike moved ashore near the city of Galveston. The central pressure was 951.6 millibars, with maximum sustained winds around 110 mph, which made Hurricane Ike a strong Category-2 storm. There were 12 deaths directly related to Ike, with 11 occurring in Galveston County from drowning due to storm surge. There were at least another 25 fatalities indirectly related to Ike, either due to carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, accidents while clearing debris, or house fires from candles. The majority of property damage at the coast was a result of storm tide. Damage was typical of a Category-3 or -4 storm, and collectively, damage amounts were near $14 billion in the counties of Harris, Chambers, Galveston, Liberty, Polk, Matagorda, Brazoria, Fort Bend, San Jacinto, and Montgomery, with an estimated $8 billion of that due to storm surge in coastal Galveston, Harris, and Chambers counties.

         Jan. 19, 2009: Wildfire. Hidalgo County. With the aid of strong gusts, low humidity, a lack of rain, and warm temperatures, a wildfire spread across Hidalgo County and consumed four buildings at the Moore Air Force Base. By the time the wildfire had been contained, it had spread to 2,560 acres, and the damage at the air force base was estimated at $10 million.

         March 30, 2009: Hail. Northeast Tarrant County. Ping-pong- to baseball-size hail fell on numerous cities in northeast Tarrant County due to a strong line of severe storms. Much of the damage was to automobiles, and the overall estimated damage was $95 million.

         April 11, 2009: Hail. Midland. Up to golf-ball-size hail caused tremendous damage to homes and vehicles during a severe storm. There was an estimated $160 million in roof repair. A woman was pelted in the stomach by a hailstone that broke through the window in her dining room.

         May 2, 2009: Thunderstorm Wind. Irving. The National Weather Service determined that a microburst caused the Dallas Cowboys’ bubble practice facility to collapse from winds estimated at 70 mph. Twelve people were injured, including one coach who was paralyzed from the waist down. The damage was estimated at $5 million.

         June 11, 2009: Thunderstorm Wind. Burnet. A peak wind of 67 mph was measured at the Burnet Airport and numerous planes were flipped or blown across the tarmac. Damage in the entire city was estimated at $5 million.

         Sept. 16, 2009: Hail. El Paso. A series of supercell storms produced golf-ball-size and possibly tennis-ball-size hail that caused extensive damage. The most costly hailstorm in recorded history for the El Paso area, the estimated damage was $150 million.

         Dec. 23, 2009: Tornado. Lufkin. An EF3 tornado touched down in Lufkin and caused extensive damage to structures, homes, and vehicles as it tore through the city. The twister and heavy rains caused damage estimated at $10 million.