Texas Climate

Texas has diverse climate types that range from arid and semi-arid in the west to humid and subtropical in the east. The huge expanse of the state creates various weather patterns based on location such as the north and northern panhandle, west, east, south, and the coastal regions. Texas shares borders with New Mexico in the west, Oklahoma in the north, Louisiana in the east, the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast, and the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon in the southwest.

Texas, the Lone Star state, has plains in the north, which exhibit a semi-arid climate with average annual precipitation of 18″ (457.2mm) to 20″ (508mm). The northern panhandle is one of the coldest areas in Texas and receives the most snow in the state to the tune of an annual 25″ (635mm) to 30″ (762mm). Winters are cold, while summers are hot with clear skies. The region is part of the Tornado Alley of the country.

The Big Bend Country composes of the western and west-central regions and is made of the desert and lone mountain ranges with arid and temperate climate patterns. Annual precipitation is the lowest of approximately 15″ (381mm) in the state in the arid areas, while the mountains receive heavy snowfall. Summers are dry, while the rest of the year in this region has the clearest skies in Texas.

Central Texas is made of hills and rivers and ranges from semi-arid in the western part to subtropical in the rest. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are mild. Average annual rainfall is in the range of 21″ (533.4mm) in the west to 35″ (889mm) in the rest of the region. Higher elevations have coniferous tree cover and receive more rainfall than the river valleys that comprise of deciduous trees.

The eastern part of Texas lies in the humid subtropical zone and receives annually 60″ (1524mm) of rain, the most in the state. April, May, and June are usually the rainiest, while the parts near the coast are mostly cloudy throughout the year. Severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes are frequent in the region generally during the spring season. Summer season is hot and humid in the east, but the coastal sections remain relatively cool in the proximity of the Gulf of Mexico.

South Texas is the southern tip of the American Great Plains region: coastal regions have moderate temperatures, while further inland, the climate patterns mimic that of the Northern Plains. Summers are usually hot and dry in the south, and snowfall is rare. Rain is more abundant in the coastal regions than the inland ranch type areas, which mostly have a semi-arid climate.

Texas experiences thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes during late spring and early summer. April and May during the spring are usually the rainiest in most regions of the state. Seymour recorded the highest ever temperature of 120°F (48.9°C) on August 12, 1936, in Texas, while Seminole recorded the coldest temperature of -23°F (-30.6°C) on February 8, 1933.

Posted in