From Floods to Drought How Much Weather Changes on a Cross-Texas Drive

In a lot of ways, Texas is like its own country. It is truly big enough to be. Last week I was 5-6 hours south of Austin in McAllen and Brownsville. This week, I am 6 hours north of Austin in Lubbock. Just the thought that you can be either 6 hours north or south of a central point in a state and still be in the same state just shows you how huge Texas is.

Now I’ve seen how much the weather can change on a cross country trip from basically 90 degrees to a blizzard. I have also trekked across 2 states to try to beat out a blizzard. Besides blizzards, I have also been in oven-like temperatures. If you travel as much as I do, you will constantly encounter many changes in the weather.

Now most of these changes in the weather occur over the span of multiple states. Due to the sheer size of Texas, you can get the same changes while staying within the state. One time, I had a buddy ask how the snow was by me. Up by Amarillo they did in fact receive snow. He did not realize that Amarillo is actually 8 hours north of Austin, and is basically the same as driving from Marshfield to St. Louis. While I didn’t drive as far as Amarillo, I drove about three-quarters of the way to Lubbock. In this 6-hour drive, I saw it go from drenched with flood warnings, to essentially a drought.

When I left Austin, it was starting to rain kind of hard.

In the meantime of driving, it started absolutely pouring. I didn’t dare take any pictures because my wipers could barely keep up and there were literally people in the ditch from hydroplaning from the standing water on the road. I needed to keep both hands on the wheel. There were also flash flood warnings, so I was keeping my eye out for deep standing water.

When things finally did clear up, the roads were still wet and it was drizzling out, but some blue was peeking through the clouds.

The little bit of blue that peeked through the clouds in the last picture was replaced by solid clouds again as I drove a little further.

Eventually, the sky broke up and things started to dry out.

A little while later, the sky became as blue as can be, with barely a cloud in it.

Obviously, it hasn’t rained at all in this area either today or for a very long time. There were some cars pulling out in the other lane and it created a heck of a dust storm. I thought I might be in for a treat with another dust storm like one of the other times I was in Lubbock.

I eventually made it to the office and it turned out to be pretty nice weather-wise in Lubbock. It was a clear sky and 88 degrees. Now a few years ago, by my Wisconsin standards, I would have thought an 88-degree day was insanely hot. I guess I’m starting to adjust to the Texas weather. I remember how at RockUSA last year, people were asking me how I could wear jeans when it was 85-degrees. When you’re used to be in an oven, 85 feels great!

I sat down and started checking my emails. While it was a perfect day in Lubbock, the storm got so bad in Austin that it knocked the power out there. They were sending almost everyone from the Austin office home. I know the bar is low for a Texas snow day, but it appears they got a Texas rain day for the remainder of the day. It’s supposed to rain all week in Austin so I’m going to enjoy the nice weather in Lubbock. Hopefully they don’t get the 20-30 inches that Lafayette, Louisiana received. I’m hoping things will be more dried out when I get back.

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