Is Houston’s weather ever ‘normal’?

JANUARY
110° 100° 90° 80° 70° 60° 50° 40° 30° 20° 10° Fifth-coolest February on record, with an average temperature of 48.5°

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

In 2010, it happened once, on July 24. The rest of the year was far from normal. It began with an unusually cold winter that was punctuated by a hard freeze in early January. That trend gave way to record-setting warmth through spring and summer, though no record highs were set until late October. Drought conditions that persisted for most of the year would have been much worse if not for July’s record-setting rainfall.
FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

DAILY HIGHS AND LOWS, with normal and record temperatures for each day:
Sixth-coolest winter (Dec.-March) on record, with an average temperature of 51.3°

July 24 was the only day with a “normal” temperature range (high of 94° and low of 74°)

Aug. 15, 16 and 23 were the only 100-degree days

Record highs for dates
92° (Oct. 26)

Pumpkin-rotting weather
Record high of 94° (Oct. 27) is highest temperature ever recorded this late in fall 89° (Nov. 1)* 85° (Nov. 23)*

82° (Dec. 21)

Warm nights

Marks indicate low temperatures that either set or tied record for the warmest low temperature for the date (12 this year, compared to 25 last year) Thirdwarmest May on record, with average temperature of 79.4° Tied as sixth-warmest June on record, with average temperature of 84.7°

Just missed it

Lows of 83° on Aug. 12 and 18 tie record for warmest low for entire month of August, and fall one degree shy of warmest low ever (84° in July 1895) Warmest August on record, with average temperature of 87.7°

Cold snap
• • •

Looking ahead

Seven consecutive nights below freezing (Jan. 5-11) Coldest night of the year (20° on Jan. 9) Record set, coolest high temperature for date (33° on Jan. 11)

Cooler than normal water in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean — a phenomenon known as La Niña — is expected to last through the spring. This tends to bring drier and warmer conditions to our area.

50˝ 40˝ 30˝ 20˝ 10˝ 0˝

CUMULATIVE PRECIPITATION, in inches:

Normal rainfall for year: 47.84˝

Late snow

Trace amount of snow (Feb. 23) marks the latest snowfall in city’s history

Actual rainfall

Normal rainfall
July and September rainfall wipes out rainfall deficit, but drought conditions return with a dry October and November; late December rains bring a little relief

Actual rainfall in 2010: 42.72˝ (5.12˝ below normal)

6˝ 5˝ 4˝ 3˝ 2˝ 1˝ 1˝ 0˝

DAILY PRECIPITATION, in inches, with significant rainfall events highlighted:
Jul. 2: 5.43˝ Jan. 29: 1.67˝ Feb. 11: 1.31˝ Apr. 18: 2.47˝ May 14: 2.44˝ Jun. 24: 2.74˝

Fourthwettest July on record, with 12.92 inches of rain

Tied as fourth-driest October on record, with .02 inches of rain

Note: All December rainfall data are through 7 p.m. Friday

Jul. 7: 2.32˝ Jul. 17: 2.23˝

Sep. 7: 2.56˝

Sep. 21: 1.03˝

Dec. 29: 1.96˝ Dec. 24: 1.03˝

MONTHLY RAINFALL TOTALS, in inches, with departure from normal:
14˝ 12˝ 10˝ 8˝ 6˝ 4˝ 2˝ 0˝

12.92˝ +9.74˝ 3.68˝ -1.47˝ 3.75˝ -1.60˝ 1.02˝ -2.81˝ 4.81˝ +0.48˝ 0.02˝ -4.48˝ 2.71˝ -1.48˝ 3.04˝ -0.65˝

2.53˝ -1.15˝

3.55˝ +0.57˝

1.88˝ -1.48˝

2.81˝ -0.79˝

Source: National Weather Service

* Record highs tied in previous years

Note: All data reported from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Normals based on 30-year period (1971-2000)

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