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The year in Houston weather (2011)

The year in Houston weather (2011)

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Published by Jeff Bair

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Published by: Jeff Bair on Dec 31, 2011
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12/31/2011

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Records fell like the summer rain that never came

• 2011 began with an early-February Arctic blast

How to read the chart
Record highs Daily highs Normal highs Normal lows Daily lows Record lows

that caused problems statewide, including school closures, rolling blackouts and less-than-ideal conditions for the Super Bowl in Arlington.
FEBRUARY MARCH
Record highs set or tied: 89° (April 11)

• The cold didn’t last long, however, and

soon gave way to month after month of record-high temperatures, devastating drought, and scorching wildfires.
MAY
98° (June 1 and 4) 94° (May 9) 98° (May 26) 95° (May 25) Earliest 100degree day 100° (June 2) 92° (April 19) 90° (April 22) 93° (April 27)

• In all, Houston had more than 60 daily temperature

records tied or broken. After seeing only two 100-degree days in 2010, the city endured 46 days at or above the century mark in 2011, including most of August.
JULY
102° (Aug. 11 and 16) 101° (Aug. 6)

• The drought, which had been brewing since 2008,

peaked in October, with nearly the entire state suffering in the “exceptional” category. Rain returned at the end of the year, but the drought is far from over.
OCTOBER NOVEMBER

JANUARY
110° 100° 90° 80° 70° 60° 50° 40° 30° 20° 10° Biggest temperature swing (46°) On Feb. 1, the temperature dropped from a high of 70° to 24° overnight

APRIL

JUNE
Record high for June 105° (June 5 and 6) 100° (June 15 and 17)

AUGUST
All-time record high (tie) 109° (Aug. 27) 104° (Aug. 26)

SEPTEMBER

DECEMBER

DAILY HIGHS AND LOWS with normal and record temperatures for each day:
Arctic blast • First two weeks of February had 12 nights below freezing • Coldest night of the year (21° on Feb. 2) • Coldest high for date (34° on Feb. 3)

107° (Aug. 28 and 29) Highest temperature recorded so late in year 102° (Sept.13) 99° (Sept. 11) 101° (Sept. 12) 100° (Sept. 14) 95° (Sept. 24) 96° (Sept. 29) 84° (Nov. 20)

Low of 77° on April 27 ties record for warmest low ever in April Warm nights Marks indicate low temperatures that either set or tied record for the warmest low temperature for the date (36 this year, compared to 12 last year)

Low of 82° on June 17, 18, 19 and 21 ties record for warmest low ever in June

With a high of 109° and a low of 81°, August 27 was the all-time hottest day in city history

59° on Sept. 7 is record low for date

Thirdwarmest April on record, with average temperature of 74.9°

Eighthwarmest May on record, with average temperature of 78.7°

Warmest June on record, with average temperature of 86.2°

Average high of 97.4° is highest ever for June

Thirdwarmest July on record, with average temperature of 87.1°

Warmest August on record, with average temperature of 90.4°

Average high of 102° is highest ever for August

Thirdwarmest September on record, with average temperature of 82.9°

Average high of 95.5° is highest ever for September More than 12 inches of rain fell during the last three months of the year, but it was not nearly enough to make up for the dryness of the previous eight months

Five all-time driest calendar years: 1917 17.66˝ 1988 22.93˝ 2011 24.57˝ 1901 27.09˝ 1951 27.23˝ Normal rainfall for year: 49.77˝

CUMULATIVE PRECIPITATION in inches:
50˝ 40˝ 30˝ 20˝ 10˝ 0˝ Monthly rainfall totals, with departure from normal: 5.05˝ (+1.37˝) 0.69˝ (-2.29˝) 0.78˝ (-2.58˝) 0.11˝ (-3.49˝) 0.33˝ (-4.82˝) 0.92˝ (-4.43˝) 2.98˝ (-0.20˝) 5.05 inches of rain in January produced the year’s only rainfall surplus, which disappeared by the end of February Eighth-driest February on record, with 0.69 inches of rain Between February and June, Houston suffered through a record five consecutive months with less than an inch of rain (the previous record was two months) Driest April on record, with 0.11 inches of rain Sixthdriest May on record, with 0.33 inches of rain With only 5.60 inches of rain falling between May and September, it was Houston’s driest summer ever

Seconddriest August on record, with 0.09 inches of rain

Actual rainfall

Normal rainfall

Actual rainfall: 24.57˝ (25.20˝ below normal)

0.09˝ (-3.67˝)

1.28˝ (-2.84˝)

3.36˝ (-2.34˝)

4.70˝ (+0.36˝)

4.28˝ (+0.54˝)

STATEWIDE DROUGHT CONDITIONS
at start of each month
Exceptional Extreme Severe Moderate

JANUARY
Dallas

FEBRUARY
Dallas

MARCH
Dallas

APRIL
Dallas

MAY
Dallas

JUNE
Dallas

JULY
Dallas

AUGUST
Dallas

SEPTEMBER
Dallas

OCTOBER
Dallas

NOVEMBER
Dallas

DECEMBER
Dallas

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

San Antonio

Houston

Sources: National Weather Service, Houston/Galveston Weather Forecast Office; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Office of the State Climatologist, Texas A&M University

Note: All temperature and rainfall data reported from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Normals based on 30-year period (1981-2010)

Note: Rainfall total through 7 p.m. Friday

For a downloadable PDF of this graphic, go to blog.chron.com/sciguy/

JAY CARR : C H R O N I C L E

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