April 2012 Weather Highlights for West-Central Texas

...3rd Warmest April on Record for San Angelo...
...4th Warmest April on Record for Abilene...

Temperatures averaged well-above normal west-central Texas in April.

Precipitation for the month varied from well-above to well-below normal.  The
monthly amounts were well-above normal across Sterling and northwestern Irion
Counties, and in a small part of the Big Country south of Abilene. More than 3
inches of rainfall occurred across these areas during the month.  For a larger part
of west-central Texas, however, the monthly amounts were below normal.  This
includes much of the Big Country, eastern Concho Valley, Heartland, Northern Edwards
Plateau, and Northwest Hill Country.  The April rainfall across a sizeable portion
of these areas was less than 25 percent of normal.

At Abilene Regional Airport, the average temperature for April was 71.3 degrees. 
This was 6.7 degrees above the normal average temperature of 64.6 degrees.  This
marks the 4th warmest April on record for Abilene.  Total precipitation for
Abilene in April was 0.87 inches.  This was 0.77 inches below the normal of 1.64
inches.

At San Angelo Regional Airport, the average temperature for April was 72.6 degrees.
This was 6.6 degrees above the normal average temperature of 66.0 degrees.  This
marks the 3rd warmest April on record for San Angelo.  Total precipitation for San
Angelo was 0.57 inches.  This was 0.85 inches below the normal of 1.42 inches. 

The number of days in April with high temperatures of 100 degrees or more include:
3 at San Angelo, 2 at Junction, and 1 at Abilene.

April 2012 Weather Highlights...

Hot and dry conditions occurred during the afternoon hours of the 1st, and were
accompanied by gusty south to southwest winds. Highs were in the 90-95 degree
range across most of west-central Texas.  These readings were 17-20 degrees above
normal for the beginning of April. A peak wind gust of 41 mph was recorded at the
Abilene Regional Airport.

Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms occurred on the evening and early
nighttime hours of the 2nd, as an upper level storm system moved into eastern New
Mexico and with the approach of a dryline from the west.  The coverage was acoss the
northern half of west-central Texas.  The strongest storms, containing small hail,
occurred across the northern Big Country.  Other scattered strong thunderstorms
developed across the northern half of west-central Texas during the early morning
hours of the 3rd.  Several of these storms contained small hail, ranging from pea to
nickel size.  A severe storm near the Abilene Airport produced hail up to quarter
size.  Where the showers and storms occurred, rainfall amounts mostly varied under
one half inch.  Some locations across Haskell, Throckmorton, and Brown Counties
received quarter to half inch amounts.         

A severe weather event occurred from mid-afternoon through the early nighttime hours
of the 7th.  With the approach and arrival of a cold front into an unstable airmass,
scattered thunderstorms developed between 3 pm and 6 pm across the Big Country and
northwestern Concho Valley.  The storms moved slowly south with additional
development through the late evening and early nighttime hours. A number of storms
were severe...especially across Sterling and Crockett Counties.  In Sterling County,
a supercell storm 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.  In addition, golfball size hail was reported at several locations
in Sterling County, including Sterling City.  The largest hail, 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 event.

Locally heavy, but beneficial rainfall, occurred with the thunderstorms on the 7th
into the post-Midnight hours of the 8th.

The heaviest rainfall, between 2.5 and 5 inches, occurred across parts of the
western Concho Valley (mainly in Sterling County) and southern Big Country (south of
Abilene).  The very heavy rainfall caused flash flooding of streets in Sterling
City.  Rainfall amounts in the range of 1 to 2.5 inches occurred across areas of the
southern and western Big Country, northern and western Concho Valley, and across
areas of Crockett, Sutton and Kimble Counties. The least amount of rainfall, less
than one quarter of an inch, occurred across the northern Big Country, much of the
Heartland, parts of the eastern Concho Valley, and parts of Schleicher and Menard
Counties.

Somewhat humid conditions occurred on the 11th to 14th, as south to south to
southeast winds brought an influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into west-
central Texas.  With overnight and early morning low cloud development, low
temperatures were well-above normal for the middle of April.  Record warm low
temperatures were set at San Angelo on the 13th, and at San Angelo and Abilene on
the 14th. A few showers entered west-central Texas on the evening of the 12th, and
on the early morning of the 13th. 

Gusty south winds occurred on the 15th and into the post-Midnight hours of the 16th.
San Angelo recorded a peak wind gust of 40 mph on the 14th.  At Abilene, peak wind
gusts reached 45 mph on the 14th and 43 mph on the 15th.

As a strong upper level disturbance approached the central Plains from the southern
Rockies, a line of strong to severe thunderstorms developed rapidly as a cold front
overtook a dryline across West Texas, late on the 14th.  This line of thunderstorms
moved east and weakened after it entered west-central Texas, during the post-
Midnight hours of the 15th. A considerably weakened band of showers and 
thunderstorms along the cold front progressed east across west-central Texas during
the early morning hours.  Rainfall amounts ranged from one quarter to three quarters
of an inch across much of the area northwest of a line from Ozona to Water Valley to
Albany. Across most of the area southeast of this line, the rainfall amounts varied
under one quarter of an inch.

After passage of the cold front, gusty west winds developed across the Concho Valley
and Big Country on the 15th.  San Angelo recorded a peak wind gust of 40 mph. The
west winds carried some dust aloft into the Big Country.

A few strong to severe thunderstorms occurred on the evening of the 19th across the
northern Big Country, near the intersection of a dryline and cold front, as an upper
level disturbance approached the area from the northwest.  Golfball size hail was
reported 5 miles east of Woodson (Throckmorton County), and nickel size hail was
reported in the town of Throckmorton.  Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms
developed farther south, mainly across the Big Country and Concho Valley, during
the nighttime hours.  While a few locations in Throckmorton and Callahan Counties
received between one half and one inch of rain, the rainfall elsewhere varied mostly
under one quarter of an inch.

Record heat occurred late in the month, as a strong upper level high pressure system
moved east across the region.  West-central Texas experienced the first days of the
year with high temperatures of 100 degrees or more. At Abilene, the high of 104
degrees on the 25th not only broke the record high for that date, but also set a
new record high temperature for the month of April.  The previous record high
temperature for April was 102 degrees, set on April 18, 1925.  Additional daily
record high temperatures were set at Abilene on the 26th and 27th (96 degrees on
both days) At San Angelo, new daily record high temperatures were set on the 25th
(104 degrees), 26th (105 degrees), and 27th (102 degrees).  In addition, record high
minimum temperatures were tied at Abilene on the 25th, and set at Abilene and San
Angelo on the 26th and 27th.

A few thunderstorms entered southwestern and extreme northwestern sections of west-
central Texas on the evening of the 30th.  Rainfall amounts varied mostly under one
half inch.

$$
 


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