As the third largest city in the Lone Star State and with a population of 1.1 million (as per the 2000 census) life in Dallas, Texas is life in the big city. As part of the massive north Texas Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex , the more than one million people in Dallas, Texas make up about one-fifth of the urban region's overall population of 5.7 million (as estimated by the Census Bureau in 2004.)
Unlike other parts of the state Dallas, Texas weather gives the area a fairly generous thirty inches of rain per year although cyclical drought is a factor of life in all parts of Texas including Dallas. Texas weather patterns straddle the dividing line between the wetter regions of the United States to the east and the more arid region of the American southwest. As a result Dallas residents are some times treated to deluges of rain or painfully protracted dry spells.
Winters in Dallas, Texas are usually dry and cool with some snow and ice and the unseasonably warm temperatures of an "Indian summer" are not uncommon. Although spring tends to be short, wildflowers (including the ever popular Texas bluebonnet) can be found in abundance before the climate segues into the blistering heat of summer.
Multiple, consecutive days of a hundred degrees or more are a regular occurrence, especially in the oppressive month of August in Dallas, Texas. Restaurant patios go unoccupied at that time of year when a cold air conditioner is considered a gift from the gods. In fact, a Dallas, Texas restaurant does well to keep gallons of iced tea on hand for the parched throats of its patrons!
The citizens in Dallas, Texas also find themselves in that region of the nation known as "tornado alley." For the most part the downtown area has been spared by the violent spring storms, not having taken a direct hit from a twister since the 1950s. Still, all residents of the region cautiously watch the threatening skies for tell-tale funnel clouds until the dangerous spring weather season has passed.
But overall, life in Dallas Texas offers a wealth of choices for outdoor activities especially in and around the sixty-six acre White Rock Lake. Surrounded by well-tended parks, the lake draws runners, cyclists, boating enthusiasts, bird watchers, skaters, and those folks simply looking for a pleasant place to be out of doors.
Unfortunately Dallas has been plagued by a high-crime rate in recent years and was ranked highest in the nation for violent crime from 1998 through 2003. Most violent crimes are confined to areas near the city's busy expressways and in more run-down and poverty stricken neighborhoods but the issue of crime is still one that residents and visitors must take seriously.
Unfortunately social climate and physical climate are not always a good match and Dallas has not always enjoyed a temperance of human relations equal to the temperance of the city's climate. Still, Dallas is a vital part of the most massive metropolitan region in North Texas, a vital part of the region's economy, and a vibrant and vital community in which to make a home or to check in as a visitor.