October 2012 Weather Highlights for West-Central Texas

...Precipitation was well-below normal across west-central Texas in October...

The monthly precipitation was below normal across almost all of west-central Texas.
Near to above normal monthly amounts only occurred in a few small areas: northern
Haskell and northwestern Throckmorton Counties, northern Irion County, northern
Schleicher County, and along the Mcculloch and Mason County border. The monthly
amounts were less than 25 percent of normal across a large part of west-central Texas.
Less than 10 percent of normal precipitation was received in sizeable areas across
central and southern sections of the region. This was noteworthy, as the much below
normal amounts occurred during one of the climatologically wetter months of the year.
Normal precipitation for October ranges from near 2 inches to over 3 inches across
west-central Texas.

Temperatures averaged slightly below normal for the month.

At Abilene Regional Airport, the average temperature for October was 64.6 degrees.
This was 1.2 degrees below the normal average temperature of 65.8 degrees. Total
precipitation for Abilene in October was 0.73 inches. This was 2.25 inches below the
normal of 2.98 inches.

At San Angelo Regional Airport, the average temperature for October was 65.7 degrees.
This was 0.5 degrees below the normal average temperature of 66.2 degrees. Total
precipitation for San Angelo was 0.49 inches. This was 2.24 inches below the normal of
2.73 inches.


October 2012 Weather Highlights...

The weather highlight of early October was an intrusion of unseasonably cool air, with
an early season frost.

A cold front moved south across roughly the northern half of west-central Texas on the
4th before becoming nearly stationary. Temperatures were cooler behind the front and
very warm ahead of it. Afternoon highs on the 4th ranged from 75-80 degrees across the
northern Big Country, to 90-95 across the Northwest Hill Country.

The large temperature differences continued on the 5th, with a nearly stationary front
extending roughly from west to east across south-central parts of the area.
Highs on the 5th ranged from the upper 60s to lower 70s across the northern Big
Country, to the lower 90s across the Northwest Hill Country.

An unseasonably cool airmass from the north began to overspread the region during the
overnight hours of the 5th and 6th. With this and widespread cloud cover, little
temperature recovery occurred on the 6th. Daytime highs were only in the upper 40s to
mid 50s across the Big Country, in the mid 50s across the Concho Valley and Heartland,
and in the upper 50s to lower 60s in the Northwest Hill Country.

A record low maximum temperature was set at Abilene on the 6th.

The very cool airmass remained over the region on the 7th, with overcast conditions.
Daytime temperatures only reached the upper 40s to lower 50s areawide on the 7th.

Record low maximum temperatures were set at Abilene and San Angelo on the 7th.

As a cold high pressure settled south into Texas, skies cleared across the Big Country,
Concho Valley and Heartland areas during the overnight hours of the 7th and 8th. With
light winds, this allowed temperatures to dip into the 30s for early morning lows on
the 8th. An early season frost occurred in the Big Country, where lows were mostly in
the lower to mid 30s. A few locations east and southeast of Abilene even recorded a
light freeze with lows of 31 or 32 degrees. Record low temperatures were set at Abilene
(34 degrees) and San Angelo (36 degrees). Cloud cover remained over the southern third
of west-central Texas, where lows were not as cold (mostly in the range of 44-47
degrees).

Temperatures warmed quickly back to around normal on the 9th with gusty south to
southwest winds. A considerably weaker cold front moved south across roughly the
northern half of west-central Texas during the early morning hours of the 10th before
stalling. This resulted in a north-south temperature contrast again across west-
central Texas. Across the Big Country, temperatures struggled to reach the lower 60s
for highs, with persistent cloud cover, patchy fog and drizzle. Some clearing occurred
across the Concho Valley and Heartland, allowing temperatures to recover into the mid
to upper 70s just north of the stalled front. South of the front, warm and somewhat
humid conditions occurred where afternoon highs were in the lower to mid 80s.

After this front lifted back to the north as a warm front, warm and somewhat humid
conditions occurred areawide on the 11th to 13th, accompanied by somewhat gusty south
winds.

A severe weather event occurred on the 13th, mostly during the afternoon and evening
hours. With the approach of an upper level disturbance and dryline from the west into
an unstable airmass, a number of strong to severe thunderstorms occurred.
The severe weather 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.

The heaviest rainfall (over 2.5 inches) occurred with a storm which tracked across
northern Haskell and extreme northwestern Throckmorton Counties. Rainfall amounts
between 1.5 and 3 inches occurred at scattered locations in central and southern parts
of west-central Texas.

Gusty south to southwest winds occurred on the 16th, and a peak gust of 43 mph was
recorded at the Abilene Regional Airport. Temperatures were warm on the 17th, ahead of
an approaching cold front. The warmest high temperatures, in the lower to mid 90s,
occurred across southern sections of west-central Texas.

Following a cold frontal passage, temperatures were cooler with highs in the 70s to
lower 80s on the 18th. As a high pressure system settled south into west-central Texas
on the night of the 18th, clear skies, dry air and light winds allowed temperatures to
drop into the mid 30s to mid 40s for early morning lows on the 19th.

Temperatures warmed quickly on the 19th and 20th as an upper level high pressure system
moved east across Texas. Afternoon highs on the 20th ranged from the mid 80s to lower
90s across west-central Texas.

With the approach of an upper level disturbance from New Mexico on the 22nd, showers
and thunderstorms occurred across the northern half of west-central Texas. The heavier
rainfall amounts, between one half inch and 1.5 inches, occurred at scattered locations
across the Big Country and northern Concho Valley.

Warm and humid conditions occurred on October 21-24, with south winds bringing moisture
into the area from the Gulf of Mexico. Daily temperatures averaged 10-15 degrees above
normal during this time. At Abilene, record high minimum temperatures were set on the
21st, 22nd, and tied on the 23rd and 24th. At San Angelo, record high minimum
temperatures were set on the 21st, 22nd, and 24th.

A strong cold front advanced south across west-central Texas on the 25th, bringing an
end to the above normal warmth. Gusty north winds followed passage of this cold front,
along with an increase in cloud cover. Temperatures fell behind the front across the
Big Country, and to a lesser extent across the Concho Valley and Heartland.
Temperatures were much cooler on the 26th, when highs were in the mid to upper 50s.
These readings were around 30 degrees cooler than the highs which occurred on the 24th.
Patchy rain occurred across southeastern sections of west-central Texas on the 26th.
Locations in eastern Kimble and southwestern Mason Counties received one quarter to one
half inch of rainfall.

A light freeze occurred across the Big Country on the early morning of the 27th, with
low temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s. This was brought about by clearing
skies and light winds, as a high pressure system settled south into northwestern Texas.
Locations farther to the south were not as cold, due to persistent cloud cover. The
very cool airmass remained over the region on the 27th, with highs mostly in the 50s
once again. Cloud cover persisted across roughly the southern half of west-central
Texas.

A light freeze occurred across a larger part of west-central Texas on the early morning
of the 28th. As the high pressure system continued to settle south into Texas, skies
cleared across much of the area on the night of the 27th and winds became light,
allowing temperatures to drop into the upper 20s to lower 30s for lows. The exception
was across parts of the Northern Edwards Plateau and Northwest Hill Country, where
lingering cloud cover kept temperatures from dropping to the freezing mark. Lows were
in the upper 30s to mid 40s across that area.

Dry conditions with a gradual warming trend in temperatures occurred on October 28-31,
as the high pressure system gradually moved east of the region and south winds
developed. 
 


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