Fox News Weather Center

Weekly wrap-up: Over 100 wildfires char Florida; California governor declares end to 4-year drought


Torrential rain flooded parts of Texas early this week, causing numerous swift water rescues across the south-central portion of the state.

Army officials said one person is missing from Fort Hood after a vehicle was swept off a road early Tuesday morning. The individual's car was recovered, but rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing. Dozens of water rescues were performed in Bell County, just north of Austin.

According to local station KXAN, more than 50 water rescues were performed in San Marcos, about 30 miles south of Austin. Texas State University closed on Tuesday afternoon as parts of the campus were overwhelmed with flooding. Up to 7 inches of rain fell in the city.

More than 100 wildfires raging across Florida have led to 2017 being the most active wildfire season for the state in six years. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

florida wildfires

A Florida Division of Forestry helicopter drops a bucket of water on a wildfire Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Hudson, Fla. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as more than 100 wildfires actively burn statewide. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


“Much of Central and South Florida are approaching drought-like conditions and the chances for wildfires are continuing to increase with hotter temperatures and low rainfall,” Scott said in a release on April 11.

Forty-two percent of the state is under moderate drought conditions. Severe conditions cover 13 percent of the state. Nearly 20 homes have been destroyed.

After four years of gripping drought, conditions in California have improved to the point where Gov. Jerry Brown declared the drought emergency over.

Four counties are still under watch, but a stormy winter and improved water conservation led to Brown's announcement. The drought killed an estimated 100 million trees, hurt farm production and disrupted drinking water in rural areas, the state said.

"This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner," Brown said. "Conservation must remain a way of life."

california sacramento rain

A woman crouches under an umbrella as she passes the Capitol Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Storms are once again bringing rain to Northern California and snow to the mountains. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)


On Thursday, The National Weather Service office in Reno, Nevada, announced the Northern Sierra broke the record for its wettest year on record (previously 1922).

In New Zealand, residents dealt with Tropical Cyclone Cook, which was expected be the worst in to hit the country in decades.

The system made landfall near 6 p.m. local time on Thursday. Many areas had already evacuated. The Guardian reported the storm brought down trees, caused landslides and cut power across the central and eastern Northern Island.

Heat continued to intensify in India, with little relief in sight. Dangerous heat will persist despite a brewing tropical threat in the Bay of Bengal.

Meanwhile, scientists announced this week that coral bleaching has damaged two-thirds of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

A study published on Thursday found evidence for an energy source possibly capable of supporting life on Saturn's moon called Enceladus.