By Hilary Hylton
August 31, 2011
As Hurricane Irene swept up the East Coast of the U.S., there was a surge of envy rising deep in the heart of Texas. No one wished ill on a neighbor on the Eastern seaboard, of course, but for some Texans, watching intrepid, slicker-clad reporters standing in water up to their knees was like watching a moon landing. Temperatures in Austin were soaring to 112°F and the drought-stricken Lone Star State was dry as a bone.
There was nary a cloud in the sky Sunday afternoon as Austin marked the all-time highest temperature on record since Texans began making note of such things over 150 years ago. By late afternoon, the sinking sun was a huge searing orange disk in a cloudless sky, seeming to draw burnt orange haze out of the earth on the horizon. Orange was also the color of the ozone forecast, a warning to anyone engaged in outdoor activities, particularly children and individuals with breathing problems, to avoid lengthy, strenuous outdoor activities. READ MORE . . .