Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

For Texas, a Year of Broken Records

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

An empty rain gauge near Canadian, Texas.

The National Weather Service has new data on temperatures and rainfall out, and several Texas cities are either on track to or have already broken existing records for heat and drought:

  • Houston tied for its hottest year ever, and has had its second driest year ever, with only 21.6 inches of rain.
  • Austin had its hottest year ever, with an average temperature of 73 degrees. (The previous hottest year was in 2006 at 72.4 degrees.) Abilene also had its hottest year ever, at 68.7 degrees Fahrenheit for the year. (The previous hottest year was in 1933.)
  • Midland and Lubbock are both breaking or tying records for hottest and driest years ever. Midland had only 4.5 inches of rain so far this year (the normal level is around 14 inches of rain), and an average temperature of 67.9 degrees. All of West Texas is 9-10 inches below normal or worse, and Midland has had only 24 days of rain over the last 444 days.
  • San Angelo had its hottest year on record, and third-driest year on record, with only nine inches of rain.
  • Relatively spared in the new record book? Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco, both of whom had relatively hot years (4th hottest and 6th hottest, respectively) but fared better than the rest of the state in precipitation (27th and 25th driest years on record, respectively).
Read the full list from the National Weather Service.


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