Texas, map

Index


Introduction



In Texas, a large southern U.S. state, the climate is continental in the northwest, where we find a plateau, and subtropical in the rest of the state.
If the north-west is excluded, winter is mild, but short bursts of cold air are possible. In the plains, snowfalls are rare in the northern part (see Dallas) and very rare in the central-southern part.
Summer is very hot in the lowlands, and muggy especially in the eastern part and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, while it is drier in the west (and less hot at high altitudes).
As far as rainfall is concerned, the western part of Texas (see Amarillo, Lubbock, El Paso) is arid, while the eastern part (see Houston, Beaumont), where rainfall exceeds 1,200 mm (47 in) per year, is rainy. The central belt, where we find cities like Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and where from 750 to 850 mm (29.5/33.5 in) of rain fall per year, is at an intermediate position, in fact it can receive either dry air masses from the west or moist air masses from the east, and there can be dry as well as very rainy periods.
Texas is a sunny state. The sun shines all year round, especially in the western desert areas. In El Paso, in the far west, there are even 3,750 hours of sunshine per year, and in Amarillo, in the north-west, around 3,300. The least sunny area is the south-eastern one, around the Gulf of Mexico (see Austin, San Antonio, Houston), where it drops to 2,600 hours of sunshine per year, and the sun shines roughly half the time in winter and 3/4 of the time in summer.
In the center and north, in spring and early summer, generally from April to June, and more rarely in the fall, tornadoes may develop, due to the collision of air masses.
Texas is also exposed to the risk of hurricanes coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The areas most at risk are the coastal ones, because hurricanes weaken when they penetrate inland, however, they can still bring abundant rainfall. The hurricane season runs from June to November, although they are more likely from August to October, with a peak in September. Sometimes, the remnants of a hurricane can also arrive from the Pacific, though weakened, but they can still bring abundant rains.

West



In the northwest, occupied by a plateau (see Amarillo, Lubbock), in winter there are strong variations in temperature between the night, when it normally falls below freezing, and the day, when the air becomes mild. But sometimes there can be cold waves, with snowfalls and severe frosts. Summer is torrid during the day, with highs that can reach 40 °C (104 °F), and with some thunderstorms. Precipitation amounts to 450/500 mm (15/20 in) per year. Winter is the driest season. The sun shines all year round.
Here are the average temperatures in Amarillo.
Amarillo - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-5-315111618181470-4
Max (°C)101217222631333228221610
Min (°F)232734415261646457453225
Max (°F)505463727988919082726150

In Amarillo, precipitation amounts to about 500 millimeters (20 inches) per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Amarillo - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)201535356080707550402020515
Prec.(in)0.80.61.41.42.43.12.8321.60.80.820.3
Days44668878654572

Continuing south, the climate becomes progressively warmer and drier.
The southwestern part of Texas, near the border with Mexico, along the Rio Grande river (see Big Bend, El Paso), is occupied by a portion of the Chihuahua desert, where from July through September some rain can occur. In winter, short cold waves are still possible, although less intense and frequent than in the north-west. Here are the average temperatures at the Persimmon Gap, located in the Big Bend national park, at 900 meters (2,950 feet) above sea level.
Persimmon Gap - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)1371217212222181261
Max (°C)182125303436363532282318
Min (°F)343745546370727264544334
Max (°F)647077869397979590827364

In Big Bend, rainfall is practically desert-like, at least at lower altitudes, although some thunderstorms can occur in summer.
Persimmon Gap - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)101010102535404045251510270
Prec.(in)0.40.40.40.411.41.61.61.810.60.410.6
Days32225565643347

Big Bend

Center-east



The central-eastern portion of Texas is flat. Winter is quite cold in the far north, and becomes progressively milder as you go south. Summer is very hot, with highs that can exceed 40 °C (104 °F), and sultry. The rains are more abundant than in the west, due to the influence of humid currents from the Gulf of Mexico.
In the far north, in Wichita Falls, 300 meters (950 feet) above sea level, near the border with Oklahoma, lows in December and January are even below freezing, and sometimes they can go down to -15 °C (5 °F). Here are the average temperatures.
Wichita Falls - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-115101520222217115-1
Max (°C)121519242933363631251813
Min (°F)303441505968727263524130
Max (°F)545966758491979788776455

In Wichita Falls, 750 mm (29 in) of rain fall per year. In winter, an average of 10 cm (3.4 in) of snow falls. Here is the average precipitation.
Wichita Falls - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)3045556595105406570804040735
Prec.(in)1.21.82.22.63.74.11.62.62.83.11.61.628.9
Days55769856675574

South of Wichita Falls, but still in northern Texas, (see Dallas, Fort Worth), winter nights are still quite cold, and frosts are not that rare.
Further south, the winter becomes milder, so much so that in Austin (the state capital), San Antonio and Houston, the average in January exceeds 10 °C (50 °F). Here are the average temperatures in Austin.
Austin - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)571115192224242116106
Max (°C)161822273033353632282217
Min (°F)414552596672757570615043
Max (°F)616472818691959790827263

Austin

Summer is still very hot, although along the coast (see Galveston), it becomes a little less hot, but on the other hand it is even more sultry. Here are the average temperatures in Galveston, located on the coast, southeast of Houston.
Galveston - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)91014182225262624201510
Max (°C)171821242831323231272218
Min (°F)485057647277797975685950
Max (°F)636470758288909088817264

The sea in Texas is a bit cold in winter, while in summer it gets very warm, so much so that it reaches 29/30 °C (84/86 °F). Here is the sea temperature in Galveston.
Galveston - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)181719212528293029262320
Temp (°F)646366707782848684797368

In the summer, the warmest area in all of Texas is the southwestern lowland area, where highs from June to August are of 37/38 °C (99/100 °F). Here are the average temperatures in Laredo.
Laredo - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)8101418222425252318138
Max (°C)192227313437373834302520
Min (°F)465057647275777773645546
Max (°F)6672818893999910093867768

In winter, the mildest area of ​​Texas is the southwestern tip (see McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville), where the maximum temperatures exceed 20 °C (68 °F) even in December and January. Here are the average temperatures in Harlingen.
Harlingen - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)101114182123242422181411
Max (°C)212326303234353533302622
Min (°F)505257647073757572645752
Max (°F)707379869093959591867972

When to go


To visit Texas you can choose spring and autumn, to avoid both the winter cold, which can affect above all the north-west and the mountainous areas, but sometimes also the rest of the state, and the summer heat. However, it should be remembered that especially in the spring, tornadoes can form in the center-north, while in the autumn, there is the risk of hurricanes especially along the coast.
In winter, in the plains there are long mild periods, and in the south it is often a pleasant period, maybe the best of the year, but some very cold days cannot be excluded.

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See also:
Amarillo
Austin
Big Bend
Corpus Christi
Dallas
El Paso
Galveston
Harlingen
Houston
Laredo
Lubbock
San Antonio