Billions lost in agriculture and thousands of homes destroyed - track the impact of the drought with the new app by StateImpact Texas.

Before and After: the Southwest drought from space
Dead Trees in Memorial Park, Houston, TexasBefore (left): May 3, 2010 | After (right): September 26, 2011
The Southwest drought has had a devastating impact on the state’s trees. The Texas Forest Service estimates more than 500 million trees were killed by the drought. The trees that were under the most stress were actually urban trees, when local governments restricted watering public landscapes. These pictures from the Texas Forest Service show Memorial Park in Houston, where trees turned brown and died over the course of a year.
Move the slider over to see before and after shots of this image and more here. 
(Image from USGS)
-KC

Before and After: the Southwest drought from space

Dead Trees in Memorial Park, Houston, Texas
Before (left): May 3, 2010 | After (right): September 26, 2011

The Southwest drought has had a devastating impact on the state’s trees. The Texas Forest Service estimates more than 500 million trees were killed by the drought. The trees that were under the most stress were actually urban trees, when local governments restricted watering public landscapes. These pictures from the Texas Forest Service show Memorial Park in Houston, where trees turned brown and died over the course of a year.

Move the slider over to see before and after shots of this image and more here. 

(Image from USGS)

-KC

In honor of World Water Day, here’s the tale of two cities in Texas that have run out of water because of the drought. The town of Robert Lee in West Texas has already cut its water consumption by 80 percent, and conditions are only getting worse. 

According to climate scientists, little rainfall compounded by record high temperatures across the Southwest could be the new norm. In 2011, losses in crops, livestock and timber from the drought reached $10 billion.

Here’s the video and more. 

(Photos by Saskia de Melker)

-KC

Cloud Juice: Harvesting Rainwater in a Drought 

For centuries, long before centralized public water systems were developed, rainwater collection and storage was a common practice in households across Texas. Now there is a renewed interest in the practice as a cheap, reliable water source, particularly in the face of climate uncertainty.

Mitt Romney to Rick Perry: Show Us Your Economic Plan

There’s one candidate, Gov. Perry, who still hasn’t put out an economic plan, no tax proposals, no regulatory proposals, no economic plan to get America working again. He’s been in the race for several weeks, so he’s following his own calendar. I think [it] may be time to hear from him on an important issue like that.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sat down with Judy Woodruff and discussed the war in Afghanistan, his GOP rivals and how he would get more Americans back to work.

More here

Over 5,214 high temperature records have been set this year in the U.S. so far.
austinstatesman:

Another day, another 100 degree high.
This summer was particularly excruciating, but it hurts more when it’s officially fall and we still have highs around 100.
This chart won’t make you feel better, but a front that is supposed to come in Friday might.

Over 5,214 high temperature records have been set this year in the U.S. so far.

austinstatesman:

Another day, another 100 degree high.

This summer was particularly excruciating, but it hurts more when it’s officially fall and we still have highs around 100.

This chart won’t make you feel better, but a front that is supposed to come in Friday might.

austinstatesman:

Photos by Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Wildfires have devastated parts of Central Texas since Sunday and firefighters continue to battle uncontained fires in several areas including Bastrop County and the Steiner Ranch subdivision. Get the latest updates on the wildfires here. 

SEE MORE STAFF PHOTOS

SEE READER PHOTOS

HOW TO HELP

Tips on preventing wildfires, protecting your home

"…You see brown land that’s been burned up by the sun, or black land that’s been burned up by fire"

Wade Goodwyn of NPR tells Gwen Ifill on Wednesday’s NewsHour. Texas is in the worst year of drought in the state’s history.

From earlier in the month: The drought has had a huge impact on farmers in the Midwest.

Heat Widget: 4,808 high temperature records have been set this year in the U.S.

And more from Wade Goodwyn on the drought via NPR. 

(Source: newshour.pbs.org)

Ron Paul on Proponents of Raising Debt Ceiling: ‘I Think They’re Misled’

In an interview Wednesday with Judy Woodruff Republican presidential candidate and longtime Texas Rep. Ron Paul said “you can’t solve the problem of debt by raising the debt limit.”

"I think they are misled. I think they believe what they are saying, but I think they don’t understand economic policy because they’re afraid of a default and they’ve been frightened," he said. "But this is the way so often government works — they try to frighten the people."

Video and post by Reporter-Producer Quinn Bowman. More here