New 1981-2010 Climate Normals Start August 1

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for producing 30 year climate normals of numerous climatological variables every 10 years for U.S. locations. The primary variables include temperature, precipitation, and derived products such as heating and cooling degree days. Normals serve as a baseline average of important climate variables that are used to understand average climate conditions at any location and serve as a consistent point of reference.

In this latest set of normals (1981-2010), the 1971-1980 decade was removed (generally considered a cool decade) and the 2001-2010 decade was added (warmer by comparison). As a result, the 1981-2010 average temperature across the United States is now approximately 0.5 F degrees warmer than the 1971-2000 period. However, this warming is not uniform across the country or from season to season. For instance, the 1981-2010 average high temperature for the mid section of the U.S. is cooler in July compared to the previous set of normals. Meanwhile, the January normal lows are much warmer across the Northern Plains and Upper Mississippi River Valley compared to 1971-2000. The graphics below illustrate the changes, along with the overall warming by state from the old set of normals to the new set.

change in normals
change in normals by state

Below is a comparison of how the 1971-2000 (Old) climate normals compare to the 1981-2010 (New) climate normals for Abilene and San Angelo..  

In the comparison tables below, the old normals (1971-2000) are shown in green text.  The new normals (1981-2010) are shown in purple text.  The comparative data includes normal monthly high temperatures, normal monthly low temperatures, normal monthly average (mean) temperatures, normal monthly precipitation, and normal monthly snowfall.

 

Abilene Old Normals
Normal Value 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep 
Oct 
Nov 
Dec 

Annual 

High Temp 55.2 60.7 69.1 77.3 84.7 91.1 94.8 93.7 86.8 77.6 65.1 56.9 76.1
Low Temp  31.8 36.5 43.8 51.8  61.0  68.5  72.3  71.4  64.4  54.4  42.3  33.9  52.7
Mean Temp  43.5 48.6  56.4  64.6  72.8  79.8  83.5  82.6  75.5  66.0  53.7  45.4  64.4 
Precip 0.97  1.13  1.41  1.67  2.83  3.06  1.70  2.63  2.91  2.90  1.30   1.27  23.78
Snowfall  2.6 1.0  0.3  0.3  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.6  0.8  5.6 

 

Abilene New Normals
Normal Value 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug 
Sep 
Oct 
Nov 
Dec 

Annual 

High Temp  56.8 60.5  68.6  77.3  84.6  90.5  94.2  94.0  86.8  77.3  66.3  56.9  76.2 
Low Temp 33.0  36.7  44.1  51.9  61.4  68.5  72.0  71.6  64.2  54.3  43.0  33.7  52.9 
Mean Temp  44.9 48.6  56.4  64.6  73.0  79.5  83.1  82.8  75.5  65.8  54.6  45.3  64.6 
Precip  1.02 1.36 1.74  1.64  3.18  3.56  1.87  2.59  2.24  2.98  1.41  1.23  24.82 
Snowfall 1.8  0.9  0.4  0.4  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.5  1.2  5.2 

  

San Angelo Old Normals
Normal Value 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep 
Oct 
Nov 
Dec 

Annual 

High Temp 57.9 63.5 71.1 79.0 85.6 90.8 94.4 93.1 86.6 77.8 66.5 59.3 77.1
Low Temp  31.8 36.0 43.3 51.0  60.6  67.6  70.4  69.4  63.0  53.0  41.4  33.5  51.8
Mean Temp  44.9 49.7  57.2  65.0  73.1  79.2  82.4  81.3  74.8  65.4  54.0  46.4  64.5 
Precip 0.82  1.18  0.99  1.60  3.09  2.52  1.10  2.05  2.95  2.57  1.10   0.94  20.91
Snowfall  2.0 0.4  0.1  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.4  0.2  3.1 

 

San Angelo New Normals
Normal Value 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug 
Sep 
Oct 
Nov 
Dec 

Annual 

High Temp  59.5 63.5  71.1  80.1  87.2  92.1  95.1  94.7  87.8  78.8  68.3  59.9  78.2 
Low Temp  33.3 37.0  44.4  51.9  61.8  68.8  71.2  70.7  63.5  53.6  42.3  33.6  52.8 
Mean Temp 46.4  50.3  57.8  66.0  74.5  80.4  83.1  82.7  75.6  66.2  55.3  46.7  65.5 
Precip 0.93 1.35 1.50   1.42 2.82  2.59  1.20    2.26  2.46  2.73  1.14 0.85  21.25 
Snowfall 1.4  0.4  0.1  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.2   0.3 2.4 

 


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