ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As we approach the last month of the 2023 year, numerous weather events and records have been broken throughout the past 11-and-a-half months.
Throughout the year, we’ve experienced extreme weather conditions in this area. We began with a winter storm that brought record-low temperatures, followed by a few tornadoes and large hail during spring. Summer and fall brought record-high temperatures that were broken. In short, we’ve seen it all.
Last week, two records for all-time high temperatures in Abilene were broken on November 7 and 8. This has been one of the hottest years we have had in a while.
We spent 46 out of 62 days (74%) in the triple digits in July and August. There were 10 double-digit days in July and only six in August.
Check out the Abilene Climate Graph for temperature and precipitation below. The black traces represent the observed highs and lows. The red peaks represent record highs, and the upper and lower limits of green represent average highs and lows. The blue minimums represent record lows.
The spring tends to be one of the most active seasons for rain and severe thunderstorms. However, between March and May, the Big Country saw less rainfall than usual, indicated by the shaded brown region in the graph, representing the deficit from average precipitation.
If you look at the overall temperature trend, most observations are located in the red and green zones. Essentially, we spent more time heating up than cooling off, meaning this year was a warmer-than-average year.
Oddly enough, while we were baking like cookies back in those summer months, the Big Country received more rainfall during the summer months than usual.
The summer months, which tend to be hotter and drier, were wetter this year. We got ahead of the curve for total rainfall for the year from late May into August.
Since September, the deficit has returned because the rainfall hasn’t been as abundant. After August, the rainfall total was 16.19 inches, which was 0.89 inches below normal for that time of year.
As of November 15, the Big Country has received 21.7 inches, now 1.68 inches below normal. We have had our fair share of rainy days, but the amount of rain has been lackluster.
Temperatures to start the year were a bit inconsistent. Not to sound like a broken record, but the profile shows a rollercoaster trend in temperatures as they fluctuate from record-high to record-low zones from January through early April.
As we transitioned seasons from late April to May, the temperature trend became more confined to the green area, meaning temperatures were near average.
During the summer months of June through August, temperatures consistently reached 100 degrees. This trend continued into the first part of September.
As we enter the back end of the year, we are starting to see temperatures become more inconsistent, but the overall trend is declining.
The overall assessment of the year so far is that we have had a hotter-than-normal year. As we inch closer to December, a month in which we usually wouldn’t get much rain, we could be looking at a below-normal year for rainfall totals.