• This week's weather roller coaster expected to come to a stop just in time for ACL

    A warm week will cool off again just in time for the beginning of the Austin City Limits Festival on Friday.

    National Weather Service forecaster Joe Baskin said we are having dry and muggy conditions for this time of the year. Low temperatures tonight will be warmer than previous nights, with readings in the upper 50s and low 60s in Central Texas. He said there is a chance of a shower on Wednesday and Thursday as temps rise into the low 80s.

    “It’s going to be a roller coaster sort of a week,” Baskin said.

    A cold front moving from the west is going to cool down the weather for this weekend and increase the chance of rain.

  • Drought serves as a catalyst for UT scientists' water conservation research

    UT scientists are researching ways to better prepare the state of Texas for water shortages in the future after the severity of last year’s drought.

    Key lessons were presented by the scientists to help community members take on the drought issue. According to a Know article on UT’s website, Scientists from the Bureau of Economic Geology said Texans need to be aware of the drought and conserve water by broadening water sources. The university’s Environmental Science Institute said people need to prepare for droughts that might be worse in the future.

    The power plants in Texas rely on water for cooling and require a steady stream of water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 43 percent of all water withdrawals are used to cool power plants. A lesson to improve the models for forecasting rainfall and temperature as well as the water level was also included by the scientists.

    Although the research done by the scientists targets Texans, it applies to 63 percent of the country that experienced a drought last year.

  • Commission to rule on historical status of former professor's residence

    The Austin Planning Commission will vote on granting historical status to the former home of a UT physics professor.

    If the commission approves the recommendation, it would deny UT's chapter of Phi Gamma Delta permission to demolish the house in order to build a parking lot and a new facility that would house fraternity members.

    The house, located behind the fraternity's main house at 2707 Hemphill Park, is the former residence of Professor S. Leroy Brown, who created WCM, Austin's first broadcast radio station. The station eventually became KUT, Austin's National Public Radio affiliate.

    Brown also invented the mechanical harmonic synthesizer, which is considered an early analog computer, according to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History's website.

    In August, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to recommend granting historical status to the house.

    The house was built in 1915. The fraternity purchased the property in 1995 after Martha Ann Zivley's Typing Service vacated.

    Steve Sadowsky, Historic Preservation Office director, said the recommendation will go before the City Council, who could officially declare the house a historic landmark and prevent its demolition. He said the commission does not have to approve the recommendation for the City Council to vote on it.