2002 Weather Review

JANUARY
Average High: 53.5 Normal High: 48.9
Average Low: 25.5 Normal Low: 22.6
Monthly Temp: 39.5 Normal Temp: 35.8 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 76 (28th) / 7 (3rd)
Precipitation: 1.17" Normal Pcpn: 0.63" (Wetter than normal)
Snowfall: 3.3" Normal Snowfall: 4.0"
Records: Record High Temp: 76° on the 28th.

January began with some light snow which fell on the 1st and 2nd of the month. A total of one-tenth of an inch of snow fell on the 1st and 2nd. Temperatures averaged above normal throughout the month. The month ended with an arctic cold front moving through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles on the 29th and 30th, bringing widespread wintery precipitation. Six to eight inches of snow and sleet fell across the northern Texas panhandle and the Oklahoma panhandle, while one to four inches of snow and sleet fell across the southern Texas panhandle. In Amarillo, a total of 2.1 inches of snow and sleet fell on the 30th and 31st. The Amarillo Police Department responded to approximately forty accidents on the 30th as a result of the icy roads. In the Oklahoma panhandle, a fatality was reported when two vehicles collided on icy roads in Beaver county.

FEBRUARY
Average High: 54.0 Normal High: 54.1
Average Low: 25.4 Normal Low: 27.0
Monthly Temp: 39.7 Normal Temp: 40.6 (Cooler than normal)
Temp Extremes: 80 (23rd) / 10 (26th)
Precipitation: 0.19" Normal Pcpn: 0.61" (Drier than normal)
Snowfall: 1.1" Normal Snowfall: 3.9"
Records: No new records set.

February was a relatively mild month with below normal precipitation. Heavy snow fell across parts of the eastern and southeastern Texas panhandle on the 5th, with 4 to 6 inches of snow common across this area. High winds blasted the panhandle on the 9th as a strong cold front pushed through the area. Sustained winds of 45mph were reported in Boise city with 37 mph sustained winds in Dalhart. A 41 mph gust was reported in Amarillo. Temperatures soared to 80 degrees on the 23rd in Amarillo. Although this was not a record, it was well above the normal high of 56 degrees for this date.

MARCH
Average High: 63.4 Normal High: 62.2
Average Low: 27.7 Normal Low: 33.6
Monthly Temp: 45.6 Normal Temp: 47.9 (Cooler than normal)
Temp Extremes: 88 (13th) / 5 (2nd)
Precipitation: 1.11" Normal Pcpn: 0.45" (Wetter than normal)
Snowfall: 0.3" Normal Snowfall: 2.7"
Records: Record High Temp: 88 on the 13th.

March was a windy, warm and dry month. A record high temperature of 88 degrees occurred on the 13th. Strong winds were common across the panhandles on the 8th in response to a strong cold front. A wind gust of 59 mph was reported near Beaver in the Oklahoma panhandle behind the front. The strong winds resulted in a 4 hour power outage which affected 1100 customers near Beaver in the Oklahoma panhandle. A 40 mph gust was recorded in Amarillo.

APRIL
Average High: 74.0 Normal High: 70.6
Average Low: 45.6 Normal Low: 41.7
Monthly Temp: 59.8 Normal Temp: 56.2 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 92 (15th & 30th) / 23 (3rd)
Precipitation: 2.24" Normal Pcpn: 1.33" (Wetter than normal)
Snowfall: Trace Normal Snowfall: 0.6"
Records: No new records set.

April began on a warm note with 89 degrees recorded in Amarillo on the 1st. Both temperature and precipitation averaged above normal. However, severe thunderstorms raked the southern Texas panhandle late in the evening on the 12th and early morning on the 13th. Large hail up to tennis ball size was common. Amarillo was hit hard with 2.00 inch hail on the 13th, resulting in $500,000 dollars in damage to buildings and automobiles. Other severe thunderstorms occurred over the northeastern Texas panhandle on the 6th and the southeastern Texas panhandle on the 17th, with dime to quarter size hail reported.
MAY
Average High: 81.6 Normal High: 78.6
Average Low: 51.2 Normal Low: 51.7
Monthly Temp: 66.4 Normal Temp: 65.2 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 95 (31st) / 39 (13th)
Precipitation: 1.05" Normal Pcpn: 2.50" (Drier than normal)
Snowfall: None Normal Snowfall: Trace
Records: No new records set.

May was a very active severe weather month with a total of 21 tornados occurring. Eighteen of these were rated F0, two F1 and one F2. Severe thunderstorms occurred throughout portions of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles on eleven days. May 5th was the most severe day with severe thunderstorms affecting the southern and eastern Texas panhandle. Thirteen of the 21 tornados occurred on this date. The strongest tornado, an F2, touched down in Swisher county. The tornado tore through the town of Happy, producing extensive damage and killing two people. The tornado moved northeast into extreme southern portions of Randall county, damaging two homes. On the 16th, an F1 touched down 18 miles east of Borger in Hutchinson county on the 16th, destroying a mobile home and pickup truck. Another F1 tornado touched down 9 miles northwest of Miami in Roberts county on the 23rd. This tornado caused moderate damage to two homes and completely destroyed several sheds. Despite the severe weather, the total precipitation for the month in Amarillo was below normal.
JUNE
Average High: 91.5 Normal High: 87.4
Average Low: 63.9 Normal Low: 61.1
Monthly Temp: 77.7 Normal Temp: 74.3 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 99 (10th & 11th) / 52 (6th)
Precipitation: 1.54" Normal Pcpn: 3.28" (Drier than normal)
Records: Record warm minimum temp: 70° on the 3rd
Record warm minimum temp: 73° on the 11th

June will be remembered as a hot and dry month. A total of 24 days occurred with the mercury soaring to 90 degrees or higher. Of the 1.54 inches of precipitation that fell during the month, 1.01 inches fell on the 4th! Despite the lack of rainfall, there were 11 severe weather days across the panhandles where large hail and damaging winds occurred. The most notable event occurred on the 4th when 61 mph wind gusts caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to a business and a home in northwest Potter county. There was only one tornado during the month, an F0 in Beaver county of the Oklahoma panhandle.

July
Average High: 91.8 Normal High: 91.0
Average Low: 66.2 Normal Low: 65.3
Monthly Temp: 79.0 Normal Temp: 78.2 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 99 (25th & 26th) / 59 (14th)
Precipitation: 1.66" Normal Pcpn: 2.68" (Drier than normal)
Records: No new records set.

July was another dry month. The majority of rain, 1.26 inches, fell on the 22nd. Severe thunderstorms occurred on seven days. A line of slow moving thunderstorms containing very heavy rainfall moved north across the southern and central Texas panhandle during the late afternoon and early evening hours of the 22nd. Amarillo was hit especially hard with flooding rains. Numerous underpasses in Amarillo were flooded, leaving motorists stranded. A forty-nine year old adult male drowned in downtown Amarillo during a rescue attempt after the motorist attempted to drive through a flooded underpass. The water rose to a height of 14 feet at one point. Severe thunderstorms containing heavy rainfall and damaging winds developed during the evening hours across the central and southern Texas panhandle on the 27th. A microburst hit the town of Borger, shortly before sunset, causing extensive damage estimated at $800,000.

AUGUST
Average High: 90.6 Normal High: 88.7
Average Low: 65.5 Normal Low: 63.8
Monthly Temp: 78.0 Normal Temp: 76.3 (Warmer than normal)
Temp Extremes: 99 (1st) / 55 (14th)
Precipitation: 3.83" Normal Pcpn: 2.94" (Wetter than normal)
Records: Record Low Temp: 55° on the 14th.

August was another warm month with above normal precipitation. There were 12 severe weather days in August, including one F0 tornado in rural Deaf Smith county. Destructive thunderstorm winds and flash flooding caused widespread damage in and near Dumas on the 9th and 10th. Roads became impassable and 20 homes and businesses in Dumas received damage due to the flooding. On the 19th, 30-40 mobile homes were damaged and a few automobiles overturned as thunderstorm wind gusts near 70 miles per hour blew through Randall County, five miles north of Canyon. In addition, a dozen power poles were snapped by the strong winds. Damage was estimated at $250,000. Flash flooding also occurred on the 30th in Potter and Randall counties as slow moving thunderstorms moved through the Amarillo metro area. Many streets were flooded, leaving motorists stranded.

SEPTEMBER
Average High: 82.1 Normal High: 81.8
Average Low: 56.2 Normal Low: 56.3
Monthly Temp: 69.2 Normal Temp: 69.1 (Near normal)
Temp Extremes: 91 (17th & 18th) / 47 (20th & 27th)
Precipitation: 1.64" Normal Pcpn: 1.88 (Drier than normal)
Snowfall: None Normal Snowfall: Trace
Records: No new records set.

September was a fairly tranquil month. There were two severe weather days which occurred on the 5th and 13th. Severe thunderstorms with high winds and large hail moved across the central and southern Texas panhandle during the evening hours of the 5th. Other severe storms affected Cimarron and Dallam counties on the 13th, producing large hail.

OCTOBER
Average High: 62.9 Normal High: 71.8
Average Low: 42.9 Normal Low: 44.6
Monthly Temp: 52.9 Normal Temp: 58.2 (Cooler than normal)
Temp Extremes: 86 (11th) / 30 (30th & 31st)
Precipitation: 3.35" Normal Pcpn: 1.50" (Wetter than normal)
Snowfall: None Normal Snowfall: 0.2"
Records: 10th wettest October on record (tied).
Record Low Temp: 36° on the 24th.

October was a very wet and cool month. The month began on a stormy note as severe thunderstorms pummeled the southern Texas panhandle on the 1st. Potter and Randall counties were hit especially hard with numerous reports of damaging winds and large hail. An 80 mph wind gust was reported 4 miles southwest of Amarillo in Randall county. A microburst resulted in $500,000 damage to the Route 66 Raceway five miles east of downtown Amarillo. Large sections of metal bleachers were rolled and fences downed. Also, hail damaged thousands of acres of cotton in Deaf Smith county from the same complex of storms. Other severe storms occurred on the 19th, 22nd and 29th.
November

Average High: 56.4 Normal High: 58.9
Average Low: 31.7 Normal Low: 31.8
Monthly Temp: 44.0 Normal Temp: 45.1 (Cooler than normal)
Temp Extremes: 75 (9th) / 15 (27th)
Precipitation: 0.04" Normal Pcpn: 0.68" (Drier than normal)
Snowfall: None Normal Snowfall: 1.7"
Records: 6th driest November on record.

After a very wet October, November was very dry. There was one severe weather day, which occurred on the 11th. Severe thunderstorms affected Potter and Randall counties on this date with nickel size hail being reported in the Amarillo metro area.

DECEMBER
Average High: 46.5 Normal High: 49.8
Average Low: 24.6 Normal Low: 24.1
Monthly Temp: 35.5 Normal Temp: 37.0 (Cooler than normal)
Temp Extremes: 67 (15th) / 8 (25th)
Precipitation: 1.10" Normal Pcpn: 0.61" (Wetter than normal)
Snowfall: 10.6" Normal Snowfall: 2.5"
Records: Record Low Temp tied: 8° on the 25th.

December temperatures averaged slightly below normal with precipitation above normal. Heavy snow fell across the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle on the 3rd of the month with a total of 4.1 inches measured at the Amarillo National Weather Service office. Higher amounts of snow fell across the northwestern Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Another big snowstorm dumped over six inches of snow in Amarillo and over ten inches of snow across the northern Texas panhandle on the 23rd, setting the stage for a white Christmas. Prior to this event, there had only been 21 days on record in which snow was observed on the ground in Amarillo on Christmas day.


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