National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Midland Texas Climate Narrative



The Midland-Odessa region is on the southern extension of the South Plains of Texas. The terrain is level with only slight occasional undulations.

The climate is typical of a semi-arid region. The vegetation of the area consists mostly of native grasses and a few trees, mostly of the mesquite variety.

Most of the annual precipitation in the area comes as a result of very violent spring and early summer thunderstorms. These are usually accompanied by excessive rainfall, over limited areas, and sometimes hail. Due to the flat nature of the countryside, local flooding occurs, but is of short duration. Tornadoes are occasionally sighted.

During the late winter and early spring months, blowing dust occurs frequently. The flat plains of the area with only grass as vegetation offer little resistance to the strong winds. The sky is occasionally obscured by dust but in most storms visibilities range from 1 to 3 miles.

Daytime temperatures are quite hot in the summer, but there is a large diurnal range of temperature and most nights are comfortable. The temperature drops below 32 degrees in the fall about mid-November and the last temperature below 32 degrees in spring comes early in April.

Winters are characterized by frequent cold periods followed by rapid warming. Cold frontal passages followed by chilly weather for two or three days. Cloudiness is at a minimum. Summers are hot and dry with numerous small convective showers.

The prevailing wind direction in this area is from the southeast. This, together with the upslope flow of the terrain from the same direction, causes occasional low cloudiness and drizzle during winter and spring months. Snow is infrequent. Maximum temperatures during the summer months frequently are from 2 to 6 degrees cooler than those at places 100 miles southeast, due to cooling effect of the upslope winds.

Very low humidities are conducive to personal comfort, because even though summer afternoon temperatures are frequently above 90 degrees, the low humidity with resultant rapid evaporation, has a cooling effect. The climate of the area is generally quite pleasant with the most disagreeable weather concentrated in the late winter and spring months.