2004: ONE OF THE WETTEST YEARS IN HISTORY FOR THE SOUTH PLAINS

There was an abundance of rainfall across the South Plains in 2004. As the image below shows, most locations across the region received over 30 inches of precipitation. This is well above average, especially on the Caprock.

TOTAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE REGION FOR 2004
2004 Precipitation for West Texas
THIS MAP WAS CREATED FROM YEARLY PRECIPITATION TOTALS GATHERED FROM WEST TEXAS MESONET STATIONS
AND NWS COOPERATIVE OBSERVATION STATIONS. STATION FIGURES AND CONTOURS LABELS ARE IN INCHES.

Below are some of Lubbock's monthly temperature and precipitation statistics from 2004:

  • The year of 2004 was the second wettest year recorded in Lubbock since 1911. Thirty-three and one quarter (33.25) inches of precipitation fell in 2004, second only to the 40.55 inches that fell in 1941.
  • The monthly average high temperatures were all below the 30-year average except for January, March and May. All monthly average low temperatures were above average (most only slightly) except for July and August. The net result is that 2004 had a daily average temperature exactly 1 degree above the 30-year average (60.7 versus 59.7).
  • The rains really came down in November. Lubbock broke the previous record for the month by more than three inches. In fact, November 2004 was the wettest ever for the State of Texas as a whole.

    LUBBOCK
    Average High
    Average Low
    Precip (inches)
    January
    56.3
    30.1
    1.90
    February
    53.9
    29.6
    1.88
    March
    68.4
    44.8
    1.85
    April
    72.4
    48.1
    2.98

    May

    87.3
    57.6
    1.00
    June
    89.1
    64.2
    3.08
    July
    91.1
    67.3
    3.22
    August
    86.6
    64.6
    2.29
    September
    82.1
    58.9
    5.38
    October
    74.2
    50.4
    2.33
    November
    56.7
    37.6
    6.65
    December
    56.5
    28.0
    0.69
    Annual
    72.9 (avg)
    48.4 (avg)
    33.25 (total)

    SOME 2004 HIGHLIGHTS:

    JANUARY:
    15th-18th: Between 0.5 and 3.0 inches of rain fell across the area, marking the end of the very dry period through 2003. Please see rainfall maphere.
    25th: High winds across the South Plains. Please see map here.
    26th: High winds across the South Plains. Please see map here.

    FEBRUARY :
    19th: Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph and near zero visibilities caused by blowing dust led to several multi-car accidents on U.S. 84 and U.S. 97. Two people died in a 30-car pileup on U.S. 84 north of Post


    MARCH:
    4th: Several severe thunderstorms moved across many of the counties along and east of the Caprock, dropping up to 2.5 inches of rain and quarter-sized hail in Crosby County.

    APRIL:
    2nd: Afternoon thunderstorms dropping as much as 6 inches of rain caused flooding in the town of Sudan in Lamb County.
    29th: Severe thunderstorms moved through the northern Rolling Plains. A tornado was reported 5 miles west of Childress, no injuries were reported. Please see more here.
    here
    MAY: This May was somewhat unusual in that no tornado warnings were issued by or reported to our office.
    10th: Severe thunderstorms hit the central South Plains, including the City of Lubbock. The NWS office at the Science Spectrum recorded a wind gust of 76 mph. Several houses in south Lubbock were hit by lightning. Quarter-sized hail was reported in Olton.

    JUNE:
    2nd: Severe thunderstorms moved across the northern counties of the South Plains. A tornado was reported in the town of Lazare, on the Cottle/Hardeman County line. Childress was hit with straight-line winds of 75 to 100 mph, causing extensive damage.
    21st: A severe thunderstorm moved south from the Amarillo area through Hale, Briscoe and Floyd Counties. A tornado was reported northeast of Tulia. Hail up to the size of baseballs fell in the vicinity of towns such as Silverton, Lockney and Floydada, causing extensive crop damage.

    JULY:
    1st: Severe thunderstorms across the Rolling Plains produced up to baseball-sized hail. The town of Delwin, in Cottle County, was hit hard with hundreds of acres of cotton receiving damage.
    6th: Severe thunderstorms brought hail up to the size of golf balls near Childress and 60-70 mph winds to Lubbock.
    25-29: Heavy rains fell across much of the area. Jayton reported over 10 inches. Please read more here.

    AUGUST:
    12th: A severe thunderstorm moved across the northwest South Plains. This storm produced golf ball-sized hail in the town of Easter in Castro County and a tornado north of Dimmitt. No injuries were reported.

    SEPTEMBER:
    22nd
    : Hail up to the size of golf balls fell from a round of thunderstorms across Parmer, Castro and Bailey Counties.
    26th: Heavy rains across the western South Plains caused street flooding and some water damage in the towns of Morton, Denver City, and Dimmitt.
    20-27: 4-10 inches of rain fell across the South Plains. All the wet weather begun to delay the cotton and peanut harvests.
    Muleshoe Wildlife Refuge recorded a monthly total of 14.02 inches of rain.

    OCTOBER:
    5th: Thunderstorms again brought heavy rains to western portions of the South Plains. Up to three inches of rain fell in an hour causing street flooding in Muleshoe and Plains. A person was struck by lightning in Tulia and required hospitalization, but later recovered.

    NOVEMBER:
    2-3: The first snowfall of the season fell on the Caprock. Please read more here.
    14-17: Heavy rains once again drenched the region. Please read more here.
    November 2004 was the wettest November in Texas ever! Please read more here.

    DECEMBER:
    22nd: A snowstorm hit the South Plains. Up to 6 inches fell across Lynn and Garza Counties, with areas farther north generally receiving 2-4 inches. Lubbock measured 3 inches.

    RECORD TEMPERATURES:
    Several record temperatures were recorded at Lubbock Airport in 2004:

    Record Low: 12 degrees on February 14.
    Record Low Maximum: 64 degrees on July 25.
    Record Low Maximum: 73 degrees on July 26.
    Record Low Maximum: 74 degrees on July 27.
    Record Low: 60 degrees on July 29.
    Record Low: 47 degrees on September 8.

    MISCELLANEOUS:
    • Much of the South Plains enjoyed a white Christmas in 2004. Two inches of snow was on the ground at the Lubbock airport at 6 a.m. Most of it melted by the afternoon. Only 10 other white Christmas' at Lubbock have been recorded since 1914.
    • Temperatures rose to 100 degrees or above at Lubbock on only 5 occasions in 2004: 102 on July 2 and July 3, 101 on May 24 and June 14, and 100 on June 2. The 30-year average is 8.4 days.

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