Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle Climate Stats

QUICK FACTS

AMARILLO

  • Currently the third warmest year on record (63.4° F) behind 1934 (64.4° F) and
  • Currently the driest year on record (4.84 inches - 14.08 inches below normal)
  • Record for most number of 100-degree days in a calendar year (50)
  • Record for most number of 90-degree days in a calendar year (113)
  • Record for most consecutive 90-degree days (50)
  • July was the warmest month ever on record (85.2° F)
  • Warmest July (85.2° F) and August (85.1° F) on record
  • 31 record high temperatures have been tied or broken this year and 15 record high low temperatures have been tied or broken

 DALHART

  • 39 record high temperatures have been tied or broken this year.

TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA

  • Through July 2011, going back for the past 12 months, Texas has either had its driest or second driest such period on record
  • Texas and Oklahoma are neck-and-neck for warmest summer ever.  Each state will have its warmest summer ever on record


Persistently hot and historic drought conditions continue to plague the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.  Many locations have benefited from recent rainfall and snowfall, but most of the entire area continues to experience exceptional drought conditions (Figure 1) - the worst drought classification.  In fact, the far western Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and parts of the Northeast Texas Panhandle are nearly the only locations in our region not experiencing an exceptional drought.  In the state of Texas alone, over 64 percent of the state is experiencing exceptional drought conditions.  Within the last month, however, drought conditions have begun to steadily improve.
July 26 Drought Monitor
Figure 1.  November 1 U.S. Drought Monitor.
 
For the period January 1 through November 2, very little rain has been measured at our four climate sites compared to what normally falls (Figure 2).  The recent pattern has supported better rain chances across parts of the area, but a lot of the precipitation has seemed to miss the rain buckets at the climate sites.  Amarillo has received just over 25 percent of its normal rainfall, Borger has received just over 33 percent of its normal rainfall, Dalhart has had nearly 30 percent of its normal rainfall, and Guymon has received a little under 37 percent of its normal rainfall.  At Amarillo, 2011 easily continues to remain the driest year on record for the period between January 1 and  November 2 (Figure 3).  Even if Amarillo receives its normal rainfall between now and the end of the year, 2011 will still be the driest year on record!
 
2011 Precipitation Totals Through July 23
Figure 2.  Actual precipitation versus normal precipitation from January 1 through November 2.
 
Driest years at Amarillo January 1 - January 23
Figure 3. Driest years at Amarillo from January 1 - November 2.

Due to the upper-level weather pattern and the ongoing drought, temperatures have been persistently above normal across the region.  In fact, high temperatures were at least 90 degrees or higher at Amarillo every day between June 21 and August 10 (50 consecutive days). This set a new record for most consecutive 90-degree days, breaking the old record of 46 days set in 1934 (Figure 4).  Through November 2, there have been 50 days this year with temperatures of at least 100 degrees at Amarillo (Figure 5), which is the new record for a calendar year.  Additionally, 2011 also broke the record for the most number of 90-degree days in a calendar year (previous record was 105 in 1941) at Amarillo.  Through November 2, there have been 113 days with temperatures of at least 90 degrees.  Many daily records have also been tied or broken at Amarillo this year.  In fact, 31 record high temperatures have been tied or broken and 15 record high low temperatures have been tied or broken.  Borger has tied or broken 36 record high temperatures and Dalhart has tied or broken 39 high temperature records.
 
Consecutive 90-degree days at Amarillo
Figure 4.  Most consecutive 90-degree days at Amarillo.
 
100-degree days at Amarillo
Figure 5. Most number of 100-degree days at Amarillo in a calendar year.
 
Also, for the period between January 1 and November 2, 2011 is the third warmest start to the year with an average temperature of 63.4°F (Figure 6).  At Amarillo, July 2011 became the warmest July on record with an average temperature of 85.2°F and the all-time warmest month on record (previous record was 84.1°F set in July 1934).  The average daily temperature on July 9 was 92°F, which tied the all-time warmest daily average temperature set on June 26, 2011 and June 24, 1953.  August 2011 became the warmest August on record with an average temperature of 85.1° F.
 
Highest average temperatures at Amarillo from January 1 through July 16
Figure 6. Highest average temperature at Amarillo from January 1 through November 2.

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