PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
721 PM CST WED DEC 31 1997

...WEST CENTRAL TEXAS WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS OF 1997...

OVERALL...WEST CENTRAL TEXAS EXPERIENCED A COOLER AND WETTER YEAR 
THAN NORMAL. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THE YEAR IN ABILENE WAS 63.3 
DEGREES...OR 1.3 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. SIMILAR TOTALS WERE FOUND FOR 
SAN ANGELO...WHERE THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WAS 63.7 DEGREES OR 1.2 
DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. AFTER A DRY START TO THE YEAR...HEAVY RAINFALL 
FROM LATE WINTER THROUGH EARLY SUMMER...AND AGAIN IN DECEMBER... 
HELPED RAINFALL TOTALS FOR THE YEAR CLIMB ABOVE NORMAL. ABILENE ENDED 
UP WITH 27.08 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION...OR 2.68 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL. 
SAN ANGELO RECEIVED 23.38 INCHES...OR 2.93 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL.

THE YEAR BEGAN WITH RECORD WARMTH...WITH TEMPERATURES REACHING THE 
70S AND LOWER 80S ACROSS WEST CENTRAL TEXAS FOR THE FIRST FOUR DAYS 
OF 1997. HOWEVER...AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT BROUGHT AN ABRUPT HALT TO THE 
WARM WEATHER. JUST A FEW DAYS LATER ON JANUARY 6TH AND 7TH...SECTIONS 
OF THE NORTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU...SOUTHEAST CONCHO VALLEY...AND 
NORTHWEST HILL COUNTRY PICKED UP 2 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOWFALL...CLOSING 
SCHOOLS AND CAUSING HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS. A SECOND WINTER 
STORM STRUCK NEARLY THE SAME AREA JUST A FEW DAYS LATER...WHEN 2 TO 3 
INCHES OF SNOWFALL AND ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET OCCURRED ON THE 12TH 
AND 13TH...CLOSING INTERSTATE 10 FROM JUNCTION WESTWARD TO FORT 
STOCKTON. 

FEBRUARY BROUGHT SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL TO WEST CENTRAL TEXAS WHICH 
BEGAN TO EASE THE DROUGHT THAT HAD GRIPPED THE REGION THROUGH MOST OF 
1996. SAN ANGELO SET A RECORD FOR THE WETTEST FEBRUARY EVER WITH A 
TOTAL OF 4.54 INCHES. THE MOST NOTEWORTHY EVENT IN FEBRUARY OCCURRED 
OVERNIGHT ON THE 19TH AND INTO THE 20TH WHERE HEAVY RAIN AND NUMEROUS 
THUNDERSTORMS CREATED ISOLATED SEVERE WEATHER AND LOCALIZED AREAS OF 
FLOODING. ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL CONTINUED THROUGH MARCH AND APRIL 
OVER CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...WHILE 
UNUSUALLY COOL WEATHER PREVAILED DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL. SAN 
ANGELO RECEIVED ITS COOLEST APRIL ON RECORD...WHILE ABILENE RECEIVED 
ITS SECOND COOLEST APRIL ON RECORD. RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES AT OR 
BELOW FREEZING OCCURRED REGIONWIDE ON THE MORNINGS OF THE 12TH 
THROUGH 14TH...WHICH WAS ONE OF THE LATEST FREEZES EVER TO OCCUR INTO 
THE START OF THE GROWING SEASON. THIS MILD AND WET WEATHER ALSO 
HELPED PRODUCE ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE DISPLAYS OF BLUEBONNETS AND 
WILDFLOWERS IN MANY YEARS OVER THE REGION.


DURING THE SPRING AND SUMMER...ALTHOUGH SEVERAL SEVERE THUNDERSTORM 
EVENTS PRODUCED A FEW LOCALIZED AREAS OF DAMAGE DUE TO HAIL... 
WINDS...OR SMALL TORNADOES...THE REGION IN GENERAL RECEIVED FEWER 
SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS THAN AVERAGE. HOWEVER...THE MOST SEVERE AND 
WIDESPREAD WEATHER RELATED DAMAGE CAME FROM TORRENTIAL RAINFALL AND 
FLOODING DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE.  WHILE RAINFALL WAS WELL ABOVE 
NORMAL ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA...THE HEAVIEST RAIN AND WORST FLOODING 
EXTENDED ACROSS THE EASTERN BIG COUNTRY...HEARTLAND...AND THE 
NORTHWEST HILL COUNTRY. THE FLOODING WOULD BEGIN ON THE 6TH...WHEN 8 
TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN FELL ACROSS PARTS OF SAN SABA AND COLEMAN 
COUNTIES. ROADS WERE FLOODED AND A FEW CARS STALLED IN THE HIGH 
WATER. THE SECOND EPISODE OF SIGNIFICANT FLOODING BEGAN ON THE 22ND. 
THIS FLOODING WAS MORE WIDESPREAD THAN THE FIRST...AFFECTING ALL OF 
THE NORTHWEST HILL COUNTRY...THE HEARTLAND...AND THE NORTHEAST CONCHO 
VALLEY AND PRODUCING 5 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN. THE LLANO RIVER AT MASON 
WOULD CREST ON THE EVENING OF THE 22ND AT A RECORD 37.2 FEET...0.2 
FEET ABOVE THE OLD RECORD AND 31 FEET ABOVE BANKFULL. SIXTEEN HOUSES 
WERE DAMAGED...AND AGRICULTURAL LOSSES WERE EXTENSIVE. 
UNFORTUNATELY...THE FLOODING OF THE 22ND WOULD ALSO PROVE TO BE FATAL 
WHEN A MOTORIST ATTEMPTING TO CROSS A FLOODED LOW WATER CROSSING IN 
BROWN COUNTY WAS SWEPT AWAY. A FEW RAINFALL TOTALS FOR THE MONTH OF 
JUNE INCLUDE:
    
    MASON.......14.11 INCHES
    BURKETT.....12.42 INCHES
    SAN SABA....11.45 INCHES
    COLEMAN.....10.71 INCHES
    TELEGRAPH....9.65 INCHES

THE REMAINDER OF THE SUMMER WAS RELATIVELY DRY WITH NEAR NORMAL 
TEMPERATURES...EXCEPT FOR THE BIG COUNTRY WHERE MORE NUMEROUS 
THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCED SPOTTY AREAS OF ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL. THE 
TEMPERATURE DID NOT REACH 100 DEGREES IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS UNTIL THE 
MIDDLE OF AUGUST.

THE FALL SEASON WAS ALSO DRIER THAN NORMAL WITH ABOVE AVERAGE 
TEMPERATURES IN SEPTEMBER...THEN TEMPERATURES DROPPED TO BELOW 
SEASONAL NORMALS FOR LATE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER. THE FIRST FREEZE 
OCCURRED ON THE MORNING OF OCTOBER 27 WHICH WAS ABOUT 2 WEEKS EARLIER 
THAN THE AVERAGE FIRST FREEZE FOR THE FALL SEASON.
 
FOR DECEMBER...COOLER AND WETTER THAN NORMAL WEATHER PREVAILED OVER 
WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...PARTIALLY DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF EL NINO. 
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE REGION ALMOST RECEIVED THEIR 
FIRST WHITE CHRISTMAS IN DECADES...JUST MISSING BY ONE DAY AS SNOW 
FELL DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF THE 26TH. SNOWFALL  
ACCUMULATIONS WERE 2 TO 4 INCHES ACROSS MOST OF THE BIG COUNTRY... 
COUNTRY...AND 1 TO 2 INCHES ACROSS THE CONCHO VALLEY AND THE 
HEARTLAND. THE SNOW QUICKLY MELTED DURING THE DAY OF THE 26TH AND 
TEMPERATURES GRADUALLY CLIMBED TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS BY THE FINAL DAY 
OF 1997.

$$

PMCCULLOUGH/DEUTSCHENDORF

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