Archive | Weather and Environment

Arctic front bringing freezing temperatures and rain

The Highland Lakes reached the mid-60s around noon Monday before a strong Arctic cold front pushed in, dropping temperatures by about 20 degrees. The same front has left the North blanketed in snow. As the front moves through, the National Weather Service is forecasting a 40 percent chance of rain and high winds. A wind […]

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Possible freeze overnight into Halloween; sunny weekend

The Highland Lakes could see its lowest temperatures since last winter as well as the first freeze of the season this week. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties overnight October 30-31. Temperatures on Wednesday will likely peak in the upper 40s across the Highland Lakes before […]

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Inks Lake State Park

Spark of life at Inks Lake State Park year after wildfire

SENIOR WRITER SUZANNE FREEMAN A major wildfire in August 2018 that blackened 600 acres of Hill Country land, including 300 acres in Inks Lake State Park, sparked regrowth and rejuvenation just weeks after emergency crews extinguished it. More than a year later, the park’s primitive camping areas and hiking trails most affected by the natural […]

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Hill Country Headwaters Initiative

New land management program promotes good stewardship

SENIOR WRITER SUZANNE FREEMAN Water, wildlife, topsoil. Property owners who cultivate these three elements on their land help sustain a community’s economy, health, and connection to people and nature. A new, federally funded program, the Hill Country Headwaters Initiative, puts together money and local expertise to promote that ideal in the Sandy Creek and Llano […]

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Colder, rainy weather before mild temps return this weekend

Mother Nature’s fickleness is evident again this week. After mild, fall temperatures the first part of the week, a mix of rain and chilly weather is in the Highland Lakes forecast beginning October 24. According to the National Weather Service, a cold front is expected to push across the Highland Lakes late Thursday afternoon. Highs […]

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BOPATE collection Oct. 26 at new Reuse and Recycle Center

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON The new Burnet County Reuse and Recycle Center might not get a “grand opening,” but it is hosting the Burnet County BOPATE collection, something usually held at one of the rodeo arenas. “We’re excited about this,” said Burnet County Judge James Oakley. “We have a permanent facility to have this collection.” The […]

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After the flood

Blessings one year after historic October 2018 flood

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON As Rick Scrimshire stood on the back porch of his Lake LBJ home, he pointed to the top of an awning just below the second floor. “It was just touching that awning, barely,” he said about floodwaters from Lake LBJ that reached 8-9 feet above his porch on October 16, 2018. “There […]

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Blanco County landowner J. David Bamberger squeezes thousands of gallons of water every 24 hours out of the rocks of the Texas Hill Country, supplying the Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Johnson City with more than enough pristine water for five families and a steady stream of ranch visitors. Photo by Mark Stracke

Wringing water from rocks at Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Johnson City

SENIOR WRITER SUZANNE FREEMAN This is a story about water and how one man squeezed it from the rocks of a bone-dry Central Texas ranch. Once choked by cedar, the Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Johnson City now produces thousands of gallons of water a day, which more than adequately meets the needs of five […]

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Fall weather is here: Cold front drops highs, brings rain

Put away the shorts and T-shirts — at least for a couple of days. A Canadian cold front is pushing through the Highland Lakes, dropping high temperatures by almost 30 degrees Friday. The front is expected to descend upon the area overnight Thursday with possible showers and thunderstorms after 1 a.m. Friday. Once the front passes […]

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Grant Dean addresses rock quarry protesters

Forum to address residents’ concerns about quarries

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON  While the recent Texas legislative session wasn’t a success for Highland Lakes residents wanting more regulation of quarries and rock crushers, they aren’t giving up. (more…)

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Cherry Springs Ranch

Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON “It’s huge,” said Frank Davis, the Hill Country Conservancy’s chief conservation officer. He’s referring to the recent conservation easement on the 1,038-acre Cherry Springs Ranch in Spicewood. “Spicewood is right in the path of future development, and Cherry Springs Ranch, it’s pristine Hill Country land,” Davis said. “It’s something hard to find […]

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Extreme heat this week with little relief; wildfire danger rises

Extreme heat this week with little relief; wildfire danger rises

As August nears its end, the hot weather refuses to go away. In fact, after “mild” 99-degree highs over the weekend, things are heating back up this week. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties from noon to 8 p.m. Monday. Temperatures are expected to reach 102-104 […]

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Fire mitigation practices

Protect yourself, homes, and firefighters during extreme heat

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON Scorching triple-digit temperatures continue this week with little relief from the heat in sight and an ever-increasing fire danger. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory from noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for portions of the Highland Lakes as temperatures are expected to reach 102-104 degrees. Even as a […]

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Hot, dry weather brings back burn bans across the area

With chances of rain melting away like a popsicle on a July day in the Highland Lakes, area counties and municipalities have returned to burn bans. Llano County implemented a burn ban on July 22; Burnet County on July 31. The city of Marble Falls set a burn ban July 30, and Marble Falls Fire […]

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Llano River bass samplings

Llano River bass samplings show definite signs of recovery

The Llano River is showing signs of recovery from the October 2018 flood. The latest indication comes from fish samplings in late June by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department aquatic biologists. They conducted the survey on the Llano River near Castell and found large numbers of juvenile largemouth and Guadalupe bass now present in the […]

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Cool front could drop highs into the upper 80s, bring rain

Cool front could drop highs into the upper 80s, bring rain

The Highland Lakes should get a reprieve this week from 100-degree temperatures thanks to a cool front. The National Weather Service is forecasting the front will move through the area sometime Monday evening and could trigger showers or thunderstorms through 7AM on Tuesday. The front could drop daytime highs into the upper 80s and lows […]

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Highland Lakes flirts with 100 before summer ‘cold’ front

Highland Lakes flirts with 100 before summer ‘cold’ front

Weekend high temperatures will flirt with triple digits with Friday possibly reaching 100 degrees. If you can hold on until Tuesday, a summer “cold” front should ease the heat. According to the National Weather Service, after Friday swelters near the century mark, the mercury should drop a degree or two through Monday. So plan accordingly, […]

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Inks Lake 2018 wildfire

Protect your home from wildfire with help of free workshop

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON After Bertram Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bobby Huffstuttler and community volunteer Jane Scheidler attended a recent symposium on wildland urban interface fire protection in Austin, the two couldn’t keep it to themselves. “We looked at each other and said, ‘We need to bring something like this to Bertram,’” Scheidler said. And they […]

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LCRA adding solar power for wholesale electricity customers

LCRA adding solar power for wholesale electricity customers

The Lower Colorado River Authority is turning to the biggest energy source in the solar system to augment its electricity generation portfolio. The LCRA announced July 11 it has signed a contract to add 141 megawatts of solar power to its lineup. Under the contract, the LCRA will purchase the renewable energy from a solar […]

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Heat advisory in effect for Burnet and Llano counties

Heat advisory in effect for Burnet and Llano counties

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Llano and Burnet counties for July 9. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid- to upper 90s with high humidity levels from the afternoon late into the evening. According to the NWS, the heat index — what the temperature feels like due to humidity — could […]

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Wildfires forced a number of evacuations across the Highland Lakes last summer. Preparing for disasters - whether natural or manmade - is something all Highland Lakes residents should consider. Texas Department of State Health Services officials are asking all Texans to get ready by being informed, making a plan, and building a kit. Whether the situation calls for sheltering in place, or evacuating, emergency preparedness can help keep you and your family safe and secure.

Don’t wait for natural disaster to strike to be Texas Ready

FROM STAFF REPORTS The hurricane season began in June, and while the coast is several hundred miles from the Highland Lakes, it’s a perfect opportunity to remind residents to prepare for both natural and man-made disasters. The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging everyone to “get ahead of what’s ahead” by being Texas […]

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Lake LBJ

Some sun, milder temps, but chance of rain this weekend

FROM STAFF REPORTS You should be able to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, but plan for a pop-up thunderstorm just in case. (more…)

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Central Texas heat advisory issued through Friday

Central Texas heat advisory issued through Friday

FROM STAFF REPORTS Burnet and Llano counties are under a heat advisory from June 19-21, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration announced. Hot and humid conditions will lead to peak heat index values of 108-111 degrees Wednesday and 102-110 on Thursday. The advisory covers the entire Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas. (more…)

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A display metal building in Llano crashed into a pole supporting a Pizza Hut sign due to high winds during a storm June 9. Photo courtesy of Gilbert Bennett

Storm strands tour boat, causes damage across Highland Lakes

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS About 80 people waited out a storm June 9 in a tour boat beached on a Lake Buchanan island. The private charter group was at Shaw Island when Vanishing Texas River Cruise Captain Shawn Devaney noticed storm clouds quickly building that evening. (more…)

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Inks Dam

LCRA moving water downstream from full Lake Buchanan

FROM STAFF REPORTS The Lower Colorado River Authority began moving water downstream from a very full Lake Buchanan early June 5. (more…)

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Asian tiger mosquito

Mosquito season is here; know the rule of Ds to fight the bite

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON You can slap them, zap them, and cuss them, but mosquitoes are here to stay. And with the abundance of rain in the Highland Lakes this spring, you can almost guarantee it will be a banner year for the pesky biters. (more…)

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