ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Wrapping up our look back at the year in weather, KTAB/KRBC Meteorologist Kayleigh Thomas, is counting down and breaking down the top five weather events of 2021 in Abilene. It is no surprise that our top weather event for 2021 is the major winter storm and record cold event, the February Freeze.  

This winter storm rocked the entire state of Texas. It plunged temperatures far below average and brought snow, sleet and freezing rain across the Lone Star State. It all began February 10, when a cold front moved through the region, bringing with it, the first surge of cold air.  

By February 11, winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings began being issued across West and Central Texas. This was when we first started seeing freezing rain and sleet, and when travel conditions became hazardous.  

Another strong cold front moved through on Valentine’s Day, February 14. This front was the tipping point from a significant winter storm, to the historic winter weather event that would eventually unfold.  

By that Sunday, all 254 Texas counties were under a winter storm warning. Moderate to heavy bands of snowfall began falling that morning and would continue through the evening hours.

By the end of the day, 9.8 inches of snow had fallen in Abilene alone. This set the record for the highest snowfall seen in one day. While snowfall for the entire month measured 10.1 inches, also setting a record for the second highest February snowfall.  

Accumulated snowfall from February 2021

Snowfall was not the only record-setting weather phenomenon that would occur that month. Numerous temperature records were shattered in Abilene and across the Big Country. These were the coldest temperatures the area had experienced since 1989.

Temperature data from February 1989 compared to February 2021

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View all of Kayleigh’s Top 5 Abilene Weather Events of 2021:

Abilene spent 252 hours, or 10-and-a-half days, below or at freezing temperatures, setting a record for the longest consecutive time period spent that cold. At the end of the month, February concluded as the sixth coldest on record in Abilene. 

Without a doubt this had to be our top weather event of this past year – now we just wait to see what 2022 has in store.