2011: A Record Hot and Dry Year!

If you thought that it was abnormally HOT and DRY year, you would definitely be correct, as the period from October 2010 through September 2011 was the warmest and driest such period on record. Of particular note was the extreme heat that occurred during the Summer of 2011 (June-August)! Almost every significant heat related record was broken by the end of the summer at both Lubbock and Childress, and in most cases they were shattered!  In fact, June, July, and August 2011 were the warmest three months ever recorded at Lubbock and Childress!  Below are some additional statistics that illustrate how unusual this year has been!       

 Days with highs of 100 degrees or higher   (for all of 2011)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Number of Days Year Rank Number of Days Year
 1 48  2011  1  99  2011
 2 29  1934  2  71  1934
 3 26  1994  3  70  1939
 4 25  1998  4  58  1930
 5 24  1924  5  56  1936
 T6 22  2006  T6  53  1998
 T6 22  1940  T6  53  1943
 T6 22  1936  T8  52  1946
 T6 22  1930  T8  52  1937
 10 20  1990  10  51  1945

 

 Days with highs of 90 degrees or higher      (for all of 2011)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Number of Days Year Rank Number of Days Year
 1 131  2011  1  142  1939
 2 122  1956  2  138  2011
 3 119  1934  3  133  1956
 4 116  1939  4  129  1998
 5 114  1931  5  127  1933
 6 108  1933  6  126  1938
 7 107  2006  7  124  1934
 8 106  2000  8  123  1931
 9 105  1942  T9  122  1963
 10 104  1953  T9  122  1953

 
  

Days with lows of 75 degrees or higher
(for all of 
2011)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Number of Days Year Rank Number of Days Year
1 27 2011 1 61 2011
T2 10 1978 2 46 1934
T2 10 1966 3 33 1998
T4 9 1998 4 31 1980
T4 9 1980 5 25 1970
6 7 2001 T6 24 1964
7 6 2003 T6 24 1954
8 5 1994 T6 24 1953
T9 3 2009 T9 23 1969
T9 3 2006 T9 23 1956

  
Number of Consecutive 90+ and 100+ Days
The streak of 90+ degree days at Lubbock and Childress finally ended at 100 straight days on September 3rd. Both Lubbock and Childress easily eclipsed their all-time mark for most 90+ degree days, breaking records set in 1934 and 1980, respectively. In addition, back in June, Lubbock reached 100 degrees for seven straight days from June 23rd - June 29th, tying it for 8th place all time. More recently, Lubbock hit 100 degrees or higher for 9 straight days from August 2nd through August 10th, placing that streak 4th longest all-time.  Childress has been even hotter as the mercury there reached the 100 degree plateau for 50 consecutive days, starting on June 22nd and extending through the entire month of July. Mercifully, this mark of 50 straight days came to an end on August 11th as the temperature only reached 96 degrees at Childress that afternoon.

Consecutive 90+ Degree Days
(for all of 
2011)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Number of Days Year Rank Number of Days Year
1  100* 2011 1 100* 2011
2 81 1934 T2 88 1980
3 67 1933 T2 88 1934
T4 56 2001 4  80  2000
T4 56 1943 5 72  1937 
T6 53 1953 6 70 1931
T6 53 1936 7 68 1933
8 50 2000 8 64 1969
9 44 1980 T9 56 1893
10 39 2006 T10 53 1954

* Streak ended on September 3, 2011.

 

Consecutive 100+ Degree Days
(for all of
2011)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Number of Days Year Rank Number of Days Year
1 12 1980 1  50* 2011
2 11 1994 2 32 1943
3 10 1924 3 28 1980
4  9* 2011 4 26 1939
T5 8 1990 5 24 1937
T5 8 1986 6 22 1954
T5 8 1928 7 21 1934
T8    7** 2011 T8 20 1978
T8 7 2003 T8 20 1936
T8 7 1940 T8 20*** 2011

*Streak ended on August 10, 2011

**Streak ended on June 29, 2011

***Streak ended on September 3, 2011


Precipitation

Overall, it has been the driest start to a calendar year by a significant margin at both Lubbock and Childress. The year to date precipitation total at Lubbock is a staggering 4.27" below the next closest year (2003) and 4.57" below the year to date total in 1917, which was the driest year on record at Lubbock. At Childress, nearly double the amount of rainfall has fallen in comparison to Lubbock, but 2011 still ranks 2.06" drier than next driest year for the same period, 1956.  

Lowest Year to Date Precipitation Totals (January 1 - November 5)

Lubbock Childress
Rank Precipitation (in) Year Rank Precipitation (in) Year
1 4.08" 2011 1 7.71" 2011
2 8.35" 2003 2 9.79" 1956
3 8.65" 1917 3 10.53" 1954
4 8.78" 1927 4 11.55" 1967
5 9.17" 1934 5 11.60" 1917
6 9.36" 1924 6 11.79" 1984
7 9.44" 1918 7 12.01" 1970
8 9.93" 1933 8 13.41" 1980
9 10.33" 1943 9 13.42" 1943
10 10.53" 1956 10 13.89" 1952

There remains a little under two months left in calendar the year, but if precipitation doesn't fall much more regularly and more heavily then we have seen to this point, 2011 stands a very good chance of going down as the driest year on record. The final chart below shows how the yearly rainfall to this point stacks up against the driest years on record.

Lowest Yearly Precipitation Totals
Lubbock Childress
Rank Precipitation (in) Year Rank Precipitation (in) Year
1 4.08" (through Nov 5th) 2011 1 7.71" (through Nov5th) 2011
2 8.73" 1917 2 10.44" 1956
3 8.81" 2003 3 11.31" 1954
4 9.54" 1924 4 12.57" 1917
5 9.59" 1927 5 12.58" 1967

 


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