National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

West Central Texas Weather Summary for 2012...

Total precipitation for the year varied from above normal to well-below normal across 
west-central Texas. The annual precipitation (25-35 inches) was above normal in 
scattered pockets of the Concho Valley, Heartland, and southern Big Country. The 
highest annual rainfall of 35-40 inches occurred in a small part of Concho County. The 
precipitation for 2012 was below normal across nearly all of the Big Country north of 
Interstate 20, and much of the southern third of west-central Texas. For much of these 
areas, the annual precipitation was between 50 and 75 percent of normal. Most noteably 
across parts of the Big Country, the annual precipitation was less than 50 percent of 

The average annual temperature for 2012 was the warmest on record for Abilene, and 
second warmest for San Angelo. 

At Abilene Regional Airport, the average annual temperature for 2012 was 67.9 degrees. 
This was 3.3 degrees above the normal average temperature of 64.6 degrees. Total 
precipitation for the year was 23.20 inches. This was 1.62 inches below the normal 
average of 24.82 inches. Total snowfall for the year at Abilene was 1.5 inches. This 
was 3.7 inches below the normal yearly snowfall of 5.2 inches. 

At San Angelo Regional Airport, the average annual temperature for 2012 was 68.9 
degrees. This was 3.4 degrees above the normal average temperature of 65.5 degrees. 
Total precipitation for the year was 21.96 inches. This was 0.71 inches above the 
normal average of 21.25 inches. Total snowfall for the year at San Angelo was 3.1 
inches. This was 0.7 inches above the normal yearly snowfall of 2.4 inches. 

The annual total number of days where high temperatures reached or exceeded 100 
degrees include 56 at San Angelo, 48 at Junction, and 40 at Abilene. This number of 
days ranked 4th place at San Angelo, and tied 7th place at Abilene, for the respective 
greatest annual number of days with highs of 100 degrees or more. 

The yearly total number of days with low temperatures of 80 degrees or warmer include 
4 at Abilene and 3 at San Angelo. 

La Nina conditions occurred in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean during the 
winter season at the beginning of 2012. Warming of these waters during the spring 
season brought about a transition from La Nina to Neutral conditions. Neutral 
conditions continued through the end of the year. 

* Winter Weather * 

The active and wet weather pattern in west-central Texas during January and February 
was uncharacteristic for La Nina conditions. Winter precipitation events occurred on 
January 9-10, and on February 12-13. With the January event, snowfall of 3-5 inches 
occurred across parts of the Concho Valley, including the city of San Angelo. This 
amount of snowfall also affected the western Big Country. With the February event, 
snowfall of 1-2 inches occurred across the northern half of west-central Texas, 
including the city of Abilene. An inch or less of snowfall occurred across the 
southern half of west-central Texas. 

Precipitation was well-above normal in January, ranking as the 4th wettest January at 
San Angelo, and the 8th wettest January at Abilene. The wet weather pattern continued 
through the early and middle parts of February. 

* Spring and Severe Weather * 

A fairly active weather pattern occurred from mid-March to mid-June, with severe 
weather occurring on a number of occasions. Although the precipitation became more 
variable, several wet weather events occurred. 

The more significant severe weather events occurred on April 7 and May 30. 

On April 7, a supercell storm in Sterling County produced several tornadoes. These 
tornadoes were reported 17 miles north of Sterling City, 13 miles southwest of Sterling 
City, and 18 miles southwest of Sterling City. Golfball size hail was reported at 
several locations in Sterling County, including Sterling City. The largest hail of 
baseball size was reported 18 miles southwest of Sterling City. 

In Crockett County, 60-70 mph winds were reported 2 miles west of Ozona. Hail to ping 
pong ball size was reported 2 miles west of Ozona, and 26 miles west-southwest of 
Ozona. Other severe storms produced large hail across parts of the Big Country. 
Golfball size hail was reported 5 miles south of Hamlin (Jones county). Ping pong ball 
size hail was reported in Jones County 5 miles south of Neinda, and 12 miles south- 
southeast of Hawley. Wind gusts to 60 mph were also reported 12 miles south-southeast 
of Hawley. Hail to quarter size was reported at Noodle (Jones County) and Trent 
(Taylor County). In all, a total of 24 severe weather reports were received for this 

On May 30, scattered thunderstorms initially developed and became severe across the 
southern Big Country. Hail to baseball size was reported at coronado camp, which is 9 
miles southwest of View in Taylor County. Golfball size hail occurred 12 miles west of 
Buffalo Gap (Taylor County), and at Lake Abilene State Park (4 miles southwest of 
Buffalo Gap). 

A supercell storm tracked south along an outflow boundary, from northern Runnels County 
into central Mason County. This storm produced a couple of tornadoes along with 
baseball to grapefruit size hail. 

A brief tornado touchdown occurred in the Millersview area. This tornado, which 
remained in open fields, was rated an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Two other 
tornado touchdowns were reported on the Concho and Runnels County line just east of 
U.S. Highway 83, or about 5 miles east-northeast of Paint rock. These tornadoes 
also occurred over an open field, and were also given EF0 ratings on the Enhanced 
Fujita Scale. 

The largest hail reported was grapefruit size at Millersview, where skylights were 
broken in homes. About 3 miles south of Melvin, wind-driven baseball size hail 
caused extensive damage. East-facing windows in homes were broken, and roofs on 
homes were damaged. In addition, the corn crop was stripped in a nearby field. 

Baseball size hail was also reported 6 miles west-southwest of the town of Mason, 
and golfball to baseball size was reported in Ballinger. Large hail to tennis ball 
size was reported 11 miles north-northeast of Hext (Mcculloch County). Late in the 
evening, a couple of severe storms moved south-southeast into Haskell and 
Throckmorton Counties. Hail to hen egg size hail was reported at Rochester (Haskell 
County), and a 77 mph wind gust was recorded at a MESONET site one mile north- 
northwest of the town of Haskell. 

In all, a total of 29 severe weather reports were received for this event. 

The severe weather and wet weather events were interspersed with periods of hot weather 
and well-above normal daytime temperatures. Abilene recorded its 10th warmest March, 
4th warmest April, and 8th warmest May. San Angelo recorded its 3rd warmest April, and 
tied its 3rd warmest June on record. 

* Summer Weather * 

Temperatures averaged above normal across west-central Texas in July and August, and 
well-above normal in June. Hot and dry conditions (with highs of 100 degrees or more) 
occurred on the occasions when upper level high pressure systems were in close 
proximity to west-central Texas. The more noteable occurrences were on June 10-11, 
during the last week of June, in late July, during most of the first 17 days of August, 
and in the first week of September. At Abilene, the low temperature of 80 degrees on 
September 5th not only set a new record high minimum temperature for that date, but 
also set a new record high minimum for the month of September. At San Angelo, the low 
temperature of 79 degrees on September 1st not only set a new record high minimum 
temperature for that date, but also tied the record high minimum for the month of 

Showers and thunderstorms occurred in various parts of west-central Texas on several 
occasions during the summer, when the upper level high pressure systems shifted farther 
away from the region. The more noteable occurrences were on June 17, July 7-10, July 
15-16, July 26, August 7-9, and August 17-18. 

Strong downburst winds occurred at the San Angelo and Abilene Regional Airports on July 
9, and at Sweetwater on July 11. Other storms produced strong downburst winds at 
Abilene on July 21, in Baird on July 22, and 2 miles east-northeast of Tankersley on 
July 25. In August, strong downburst winds occurred: in Schleicher County, 7 miles 
south of Eldorado on the 9th; in the towns of Winters, Miles, Wall, and at San Angelo 
Regional Airport on the 12th; and near Moran on the 18th. 

A few grass and brush fires occurred during the summer. Among these were the Bluff 
Creek Ranch fire (5 miles east-southeast of Leuders, in Shackelford County) and the 
Wallace Creek Wildfire (11 miles north-northeast of Pontotoc, in San Saba County), 
during the last few days of July. In August, a grass and brush fire occurred in 
Shackelford County approximately 10 miles west of Albany, on the 14th. 

* Autumn Weather * 

The weather highlights for September included a significant, widespread and heavy 
rainfall event late in the month (September 27-29), and a couple of intrusions of much 
cooler air after the first week of the month. 

Total rainfall from September 27-29 was in the range of 4-8 inches, with isolated 
totals between 8 and 11 inches. The longest duration and highest amount of rainfall 
occurred across the region south of a Roby to Albany line and north of an Ozona to 
Richland Springs line. The heavy rainfall caused onsiderable street flooding in Abilene 
and San Angelo, and prompted the temporary closure of other roads across the Big 
Country and Concho Valley. 

The rainfall led to substantial runoff into area rivers, streams, and reservoirs. 
Flooding occurred along the Colorado River in parts of Coke and Runnels Counties. 
Flooding also occurred along the Concho River at Paint Rock (Concho County). The most 
substantial flooding occurred near the confluence of Elm Creek and the Colorado River, 
on the southeast side of Ballinger. This prompted precautionary evacuation of the 
surrounding homes in that area. 

Water levels increased on the area reservoirs, most notably at Lake O.H. Ivie. 
The list of other reservoirs with water increases include: Twin Buttes, O.C. 
Fisher, Lake E.V. Spence, Lake Nasworthy, Brady Creek, Fort Phantom Hill, Lake 
Abilene, Lake Brownwood, Lake Coleman, and Hords Creek. Minor increases occurred at 
Lake Stamford and Lake Sweetwater. 

This rainfall and runoff event helped to alleviate ongoing drought conditions across 
the Concho Valley, Heartland, and southern part of the Big Country. Drought 
conditions were alleviated to a lesser extent across the northern Big Country and in 
southern parts of west-central Texas. 

As a result of this rainfall event, the 5th wettest September was recorded at Abilene, 
while the 8th wettest September was recorded at San Angelo. 

Precipitation was well-below normal across west-central Texas in October. The weather 
highlights for October included an intrusion of unseasonably cooler air early in the 
month, a severe weather event in the middle of the month (13th), and an occurrence of 
light freezes late in the month (27th and 28th). 

The severe weather on October 13 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. 

Light freezes occurred across the Big Country on the early morning of October 27th, and 
across a larger part of west-central texas on the early morning of the 28th. 

In November, the monthly precipitation was near to above normal in the south-central 
part of West Central Texas, and well-below normal across most of the rest of the area. 
The 2nd driest November on record was tied at San Angelo. Temperatures averaged well- 
above normal in November. San Angelo recorded its 4th warmest November on record, 
while Abilene recorded its 7th warmest November. A rather dry weather pattern 
prevailed during November. This was brought about by a lack of strong upper level 
disturbances, and a lack of moisture available when the disturbances and cold fronts 
moved across West Central Texas. Most of the preciptation for the month occurred with 
one event early in the month. 

Temperatures averaged well-above normal again during the final month of the year. 
San Angelo recorded its 6th warmest December. At Abilene, the low temperature of 63 
degrees on December 2nd tied the record highest minimum temperature for December. 

The monthly precipitation was below normal, most noteably across areas of the Big 
Country, northern and western Concho Valley, and southeastern sections of west-central 

Strong winds and blowing dust occurred on December 19, with peak winds of 51 mph at 
Abilene, 44 mph at San Angelo, and 40 mph at Junction. 

A quick change to much colder conditions, along with some wintry weather, occurred 
during the day on Christmas. A strong cold front advanced south across west-central 
Texas, with gusty north winds and falling temperatures following its passage. A peak 
wind gust of 41 mph was recorded at Junction. As an upper level storm system 
intensified over Texas, some light snow developed across the Big Country. 
Accumulations were around 1 inch in the northern Big Country, and less than one inch 
farther south across the Big Country.