West Central Texas Weather Summary for 2012...
Total precipitation for the year varied from above normal to well-below normal across
west-central Texas. The annual precipitation (25-35 inches) was above normal in
scattered pockets of the Concho Valley, Heartland, and southern Big Country. The
highest annual rainfall of 35-40 inches occurred in a small part of Concho County. The
precipitation for 2012 was below normal across nearly all of the Big Country north of
Interstate 20, and much of the southern third of west-central Texas. For much of these
areas, the annual precipitation was between 50 and 75 percent of normal. Most noteably
across parts of the Big Country, the annual precipitation was less than 50 percent of
The average annual temperature for 2012 was the warmest on record for Abilene, and
second warmest for San Angelo.
At Abilene Regional Airport, the average annual temperature for 2012 was 67.9 degrees.
This was 3.3 degrees above the normal average temperature of 64.6 degrees. Total
precipitation for the year was 23.20 inches. This was 1.62 inches below the normal
average of 24.82 inches. Total snowfall for the year at Abilene was 1.5 inches. This
was 3.7 inches below the normal yearly snowfall of 5.2 inches.
At San Angelo Regional Airport, the average annual temperature for 2012 was 68.9
degrees. This was 3.4 degrees above the normal average temperature of 65.5 degrees.
Total precipitation for the year was 21.96 inches. This was 0.71 inches above the
normal average of 21.25 inches. Total snowfall for the year at San Angelo was 3.1
inches. This was 0.7 inches above the normal yearly snowfall of 2.4 inches.
The annual total number of days where high temperatures reached or exceeded 100
degrees include 56 at San Angelo, 48 at Junction, and 40 at Abilene. This number of
days ranked 4th place at San Angelo, and tied 7th place at Abilene, for the respective
greatest annual number of days with highs of 100 degrees or more.
The yearly total number of days with low temperatures of 80 degrees or warmer include
4 at Abilene and 3 at San Angelo.
La Nina conditions occurred in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean during the
winter season at the beginning of 2012. Warming of these waters during the spring
season brought about a transition from La Nina to Neutral conditions. Neutral
conditions continued through the end of the year.
* Winter Weather *
The active and wet weather pattern in west-central Texas during January and February
was uncharacteristic for La Nina conditions. Winter precipitation events occurred on
January 9-10, and on February 12-13. With the January event, snowfall of 3-5 inches
occurred across parts of the Concho Valley, including the city of San Angelo. This
amount of snowfall also affected the western Big Country. With the February event,
snowfall of 1-2 inches occurred across the northern half of west-central Texas,
including the city of Abilene. An inch or less of snowfall occurred across the
southern half of west-central Texas.
Precipitation was well-above normal in January, ranking as the 4th wettest January at
San Angelo, and the 8th wettest January at Abilene. The wet weather pattern continued
through the early and middle parts of February.
* Spring and Severe Weather *
A fairly active weather pattern occurred from mid-March to mid-June, with severe
weather occurring on a number of occasions. Although the precipitation became more
variable, several wet weather events occurred.
The more significant severe weather events occurred on April 7 and May 30.
On April 7, a supercell storm in Sterling County produced several tornadoes. These
tornadoes were reported 17 miles north of Sterling City, 13 miles southwest of Sterling
City, and 18 miles southwest of Sterling City. Golfball size hail was reported at
several locations in Sterling County, including Sterling City. The largest hail of
baseball size was reported 18 miles southwest of Sterling City.
In Crockett County, 60-70 mph winds were reported 2 miles west of Ozona. Hail to ping
pong ball size was reported 2 miles west of Ozona, and 26 miles west-southwest of
Ozona. Other severe storms produced large hail across parts of the Big Country.
Golfball size hail was reported 5 miles south of Hamlin (Jones county). Ping pong ball
size hail was reported in Jones County 5 miles south of Neinda, and 12 miles south-
southeast of Hawley. Wind gusts to 60 mph were also reported 12 miles south-southeast
of Hawley. Hail to quarter size was reported at Noodle (Jones County) and Trent
(Taylor County). In all, a total of 24 severe weather reports were received for this
On May 30, scattered thunderstorms initially developed and became severe across the
southern Big Country. Hail to baseball size was reported at coronado camp, which is 9
miles southwest of View in Taylor County. Golfball size hail occurred 12 miles west of
Buffalo Gap (Taylor County), and at Lake Abilene State Park (4 miles southwest of
A supercell storm tracked south along an outflow boundary, from northern Runnels County
into central Mason County. This storm produced a couple of tornadoes along with
baseball to grapefruit size hail.
A brief tornado touchdown occurred in the Millersview area. This tornado, which
remained in open fields, was rated an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Two other
tornado touchdowns were reported on the Concho and Runnels County line just east of
U.S. Highway 83, or about 5 miles east-northeast of Paint rock. These tornadoes
also occurred over an open field, and were also given EF0 ratings on the Enhanced
The largest hail reported was grapefruit size at Millersview, where skylights were
broken in homes. About 3 miles south of Melvin, wind-driven baseball size hail
caused extensive damage. East-facing windows in homes were broken, and roofs on
homes were damaged. In addition, the corn crop was stripped in a nearby field.
Baseball size hail was also reported 6 miles west-southwest of the town of Mason,
and golfball to baseball size was reported in Ballinger. Large hail to tennis ball
size was reported 11 miles north-northeast of Hext (Mcculloch County). Late in the
evening, a couple of severe storms moved south-southeast into Haskell and
Throckmorton Counties. Hail to hen egg size hail was reported at Rochester (Haskell
County), and a 77 mph wind gust was recorded at a MESONET site one mile north-
northwest of the town of Haskell.
In all, a total of 29 severe weather reports were received for this event.
The severe weather and wet weather events were interspersed with periods of hot weather
and well-above normal daytime temperatures. Abilene recorded its 10th warmest March,
4th warmest April, and 8th warmest May. San Angelo recorded its 3rd warmest April, and
tied its 3rd warmest June on record.
* Summer Weather *
Temperatures averaged above normal across west-central Texas in July and August, and
well-above normal in June. Hot and dry conditions (with highs of 100 degrees or more)
occurred on the occasions when upper level high pressure systems were in close
proximity to west-central Texas. The more noteable occurrences were on June 10-11,
during the last week of June, in late July, during most of the first 17 days of August,
and in the first week of September. At Abilene, the low temperature of 80 degrees on
September 5th not only set a new record high minimum temperature for that date, but
also set a new record high minimum for the month of September. At San Angelo, the low
temperature of 79 degrees on September 1st not only set a new record high minimum
temperature for that date, but also tied the record high minimum for the month of
Showers and thunderstorms occurred in various parts of west-central Texas on several
occasions during the summer, when the upper level high pressure systems shifted farther
away from the region. The more noteable occurrences were on June 17, July 7-10, July
15-16, July 26, August 7-9, and August 17-18.
Strong downburst winds occurred at the San Angelo and Abilene Regional Airports on July
9, and at Sweetwater on July 11. Other storms produced strong downburst winds at
Abilene on July 21, in Baird on July 22, and 2 miles east-northeast of Tankersley on
July 25. In August, strong downburst winds occurred: in Schleicher County, 7 miles
south of Eldorado on the 9th; in the towns of Winters, Miles, Wall, and at San Angelo
Regional Airport on the 12th; and near Moran on the 18th.
A few grass and brush fires occurred during the summer. Among these were the Bluff
Creek Ranch fire (5 miles east-southeast of Leuders, in Shackelford County) and the
Wallace Creek Wildfire (11 miles north-northeast of Pontotoc, in San Saba County),
during the last few days of July. In August, a grass and brush fire occurred in
Shackelford County approximately 10 miles west of Albany, on the 14th.
* Autumn Weather *
The weather highlights for September included a significant, widespread and heavy
rainfall event late in the month (September 27-29), and a couple of intrusions of much
cooler air after the first week of the month.
Total rainfall from September 27-29 was in the range of 4-8 inches, with isolated
totals between 8 and 11 inches. The longest duration and highest amount of rainfall
occurred across the region south of a Roby to Albany line and north of an Ozona to
Richland Springs line. The heavy rainfall caused onsiderable street flooding in Abilene
and San Angelo, and prompted the temporary closure of other roads across the Big
Country and Concho Valley.
The rainfall led to substantial runoff into area rivers, streams, and reservoirs.
Flooding occurred along the Colorado River in parts of Coke and Runnels Counties.
Flooding also occurred along the Concho River at Paint Rock (Concho County). The most
substantial flooding occurred near the confluence of Elm Creek and the Colorado River,
on the southeast side of Ballinger. This prompted precautionary evacuation of the
surrounding homes in that area.
Water levels increased on the area reservoirs, most notably at Lake O.H. Ivie.
The list of other reservoirs with water increases include: Twin Buttes, O.C.
Fisher, Lake E.V. Spence, Lake Nasworthy, Brady Creek, Fort Phantom Hill, Lake
Abilene, Lake Brownwood, Lake Coleman, and Hords Creek. Minor increases occurred at
Lake Stamford and Lake Sweetwater.
This rainfall and runoff event helped to alleviate ongoing drought conditions across
the Concho Valley, Heartland, and southern part of the Big Country. Drought
conditions were alleviated to a lesser extent across the northern Big Country and in
southern parts of west-central Texas.
As a result of this rainfall event, the 5th wettest September was recorded at Abilene,
while the 8th wettest September was recorded at San Angelo.
Precipitation was well-below normal across west-central Texas in October. The weather
highlights for October included an intrusion of unseasonably cooler air early in the
month, a severe weather event in the middle of the month (13th), and an occurrence of
light freezes late in the month (27th and 28th).
The severe weather on October 13 included large hail and strong winds. The largest hail
reported was golfball size 5 miles northwest of San Angelo (near Buffalo Heights) and 4
miles north of Eldorado (Schleicher County). The storm north of Eldorado also caused
damage to tree branches and sky lights of a home. Strong thunderstorm winds caused roof
damage to a home 6 miles north of Stamford (Haskell County). Several power poles were
blown down in the vicinity of View (Taylor County). A peak wind gust of 56 mph was
recorded at the Abilene Regional Airport. In all, a total of 19 severe weather reports
were received for this event.
Light freezes occurred across the Big Country on the early morning of October 27th, and
across a larger part of west-central texas on the early morning of the 28th.
In November, the monthly precipitation was near to above normal in the south-central
part of West Central Texas, and well-below normal across most of the rest of the area.
The 2nd driest November on record was tied at San Angelo. Temperatures averaged well-
above normal in November. San Angelo recorded its 4th warmest November on record,
while Abilene recorded its 7th warmest November. A rather dry weather pattern
prevailed during November. This was brought about by a lack of strong upper level
disturbances, and a lack of moisture available when the disturbances and cold fronts
moved across West Central Texas. Most of the preciptation for the month occurred with
one event early in the month.
Temperatures averaged well-above normal again during the final month of the year.
San Angelo recorded its 6th warmest December. At Abilene, the low temperature of 63
degrees on December 2nd tied the record highest minimum temperature for December.
The monthly precipitation was below normal, most noteably across areas of the Big
Country, northern and western Concho Valley, and southeastern sections of west-central
Strong winds and blowing dust occurred on December 19, with peak winds of 51 mph at
Abilene, 44 mph at San Angelo, and 40 mph at Junction.
A quick change to much colder conditions, along with some wintry weather, occurred
during the day on Christmas. A strong cold front advanced south across west-central
Texas, with gusty north winds and falling temperatures following its passage. A peak
wind gust of 41 mph was recorded at Junction. As an upper level storm system
intensified over Texas, some light snow developed across the Big Country.
Accumulations were around 1 inch in the northern Big Country, and less than one inch
farther south across the Big Country.