National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

West Central Texas Weather Summary for 2015

The background map in Figure 1 shows the geographic regions of west-central Texas, which are referenced in this annual weather summary. 

Figure 1:  Geographic Regions of West-Central Texas.

Total precipitation for the year is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Total Precipitation for the Year 2015.

Annual precipitation across west-central Texas varied from near to much above normal, ranging from approximately 18 inches to 52 inches. For nearly all of the Big Country and much of the northern Heartland and northwestern Concho Valley, the annual precipitation was more than 10 inches above normal (Figure 3). Across much of these same areas, the yearly precipitation was in excess of 35 inches (Figure 2 above).

Figure 3: Departure from Normal Precipitation for the Year 2015.

The annual precipitation was near to slightly above normal along a corridor extending from Crockett County northeast across much of Tom Green into Coke Counties, and in scattered pockets across the southern third of west-central Texas.

Annual average temperatures were also above normal.  Table 1 (below) summarizes the Year 2015 average temperature, precipitation, and departure from normal for Abilene and San Angelo.  



Average Temperature (Degrees F)

Departure from Normal (Degrees F) Normal Average Temperature (Degrees F) Total Precipitation (Inches) Departure from Normal (Inches) Normal Annual Precipitation (Inches)
Abilene  65.5 0.9 64.6 40.41 15.59 24.82
San Angelo  66.8 1.3 65.5 26.78 5.53 21.25

Table 1: Year 2015 Temperature and Precipitation Data for Abilene and San Angelo.

* At Abilene, the annual precipitation of 40.41 inches ranks as the 4th wettest year on record. *

The growing season information for the year is summarized in Table 2, for Abilene and San Angelo.



Last Spring Freeze 

First Autumn Freeze Length of Growing Season Normal Length of Growing Season (1981-2010 Average) Departure from Normal Rank 
Abilene  Mar. 6 Nov. 21 259 days 234 days +25 Days Tied for  16th Longest
San Angelo  Mar. 6 Nov. 21 259 days 231 days +28 Days Tied for 8th Longest

Table 2: Growing Season Information for Abilene and San Angelo.

The growing season (number of days between the last spring freeze and the first autumn freeze) was 3-4 weeks longer than normal at Abilene and San Angelo. 

Total snowfall for the year was: 8.8 inches at Abilene, and 4.5 inches at San Angelo.  

The total number of days with high temperatures 100 degrees or greater were:  36 at San Angelo, 20 at Junction, and 15 at Abilene.

Other temperature extreme data for Abilene and San Angelo is summarized in Table 3.



Warmest High Temperature (Degrees F)

Warmest Low Temperature( Degrees F) Coldest High Temperature (Degrees F) Coldest Low Temperature (Degrees F)
Abilene  104 on Aug. 9 79 on Aug. 6 24 on Feb. 23 16 on Jan. 8
San Angelo  106 on Aug. 8  79 on Aug. 5 27 on Feb. 23 19 on Jan. 8

Table 3: Extreme Temperature Data for the Year 2015 at Abilene and San Angelo.

 * Winter Weather *

Temperatures averaged below normal in January and February.  Precipitation was well-above normal across much of west-central Texas in January, and much below normal across nearly the entire area in February. 

Several notable winter weather events occurred.  An ice event, which began on December 30, 2014 continued into New Year's Day across west-central Texas, with light freezing precipitation and very icy road conditions. 

Two significant winter weather events occurred during the last week of February. Freezing rain and sleet occurred across much of the area on the February 22-23, with temperatures mostly in the 20s. This resulted in icy roads and very hazardous travel conditions.  A few days later, a mix of winter precipitation occurred on February 26-27 across the area.   The Big Country area (along/north of Interstate 20) received 1-3 inches of snowfall on the 26th, and 2-4 inches of snow on the 27th.  Roads were snow-covered across the Big Country.  Freezing drizzle occurred during the overnight hours of the 26th and 27th, and continued into the morning of the March 1st.  With temperatures below freezing during much of this time across most of west-central Texas, roads were icy and travel was very hazardous.  Numerous accidents were reported.   

Another significant winter weather event occurred on March 4.  Rain showers changed to freezing rain and sleet, from north to south during the afternoon and evening, as temperatures dropped rapidly into the upper 20s to lower 30s.  A few thunderstorms also occurred across west-central Texas.  The precipitation mixed with and changed to snow before ending across much of the Big Country. The higher accumulations of snow, sleet and ice were mostly across northern and eastern parts of west-central Texas. A glaze of ice on area roadways created hazardous travel conditions. With brisk north winds during the overnight hours of the 4th and 5th, wind chill values dropped into the 8-15 degree range across the Big Country, and into the teens farther south across much of the rest of west-central Texas.

* Spring and Severe Weather *

In April, temperatures averaged above normal, and precipitation varied from below to well-above normal across west-central Texas.  In May, temperatures averaged below normal, and precipitation was much above average across west-central Texas.   

San Angelo recorded its 2nd wettest May, with 9.12 inches of rainfall. This monthly rainfall also ranked as the 5th wettest of any month on record at San Angelo.  

With a rather active pattern, several severe weather events occurred during the second half of April.  A total of 120 severe weather/flash flooding reports were received during this time period.  Among these events was a tornado, which occurred in the Lake Brownwood area on April 26.

May was highlighted by a very active pattern, with numerous severe weather and heavy rain events. 

* Summer Weather *

The hot and dry conditions, usually prevalent during the summer, were slow to develop until July.  After very wet conditions in May, warmer and drier conditions occurred during the first part of June, when an upper level high pressure system shifted east into Texas from New Mexico.  Two wet periods occurred during the middle (June 14-17) and late (June 27-30) parts of the month.  

Significant wet weather and flash flooding occurred on July 7-8. The  heaviest rainfall occurred from the Abilene area east and south across the Coleman, Brownwood, and Brady areas. A total of 16 reports were received for this flash flooding event, including one fatality.  For Abilene, the rainfall of 8.26 inches on July 7 was not only a daily record amount for that date, but also the highest of any day on record.  In addition, this rainfall set a new record for the month of July.  This marks the only occasion in Abilene where record monthly rainfall was set in a single day.  Records for Abilene date back to 1886.  

The main periods of hot and dry weather (with 100-degree high temperatures) occurred in late July through the first half of August, and intermittently in late August and early September.

The average temperature for August at San Angelo tied for the 10th warmest on record.   

A pronounced dry period began in July across the southern half of west-central Texas, and expanded across all of the region during August. The hot and dry conditions from July into August caused the vegetation to become very dry in some areas.  Several grass and brush fires occurred, some of which burned more than 1000 acres.  Some of the fires were started by lightning strikes.

* Fall Weather * 

In September, temperatures averaged well-above normal while precipitation was well-below normal.  September is climatologically one of the wettest months of the year across west-central Texas, but this year was an exception with most of the area receiving less than 50 percent of normal rainfall for the month.  San Angelo recorded its 4th warmest September, while Abilene tied a record for the 8th warmest September.  During the early part of September, a wildfire burned approximately 2200 acres in western Shackelford County.  A couple of smaller wildfires occurred late in the month.  As the warm and dry conditions continued through the first week of October, a wildfire burned approximately 2250 acres in extreme western Schleicher County.

A significant change to a wetter pattern occurred in October, with 3 notable (and much needed) rain events.  Abilene recorded its 4th wettest October.  The heavier rainfall with the October 8-9 event occurred across some of the area west of a Robert Lee to Junction line.  With the rain event on October 22-24, much of the area received 2-5 inches. Parts of the western Big Country and northwestern Concho Valley received amounts between 6 and 9 inches, with localized amounts over 9 inches in western Sterling County. On the 23rd, a new daily rainfall record (2.16 inches) was set at Abilene. Water runoff led to significant rises on the North Concho River, from Sterling City to San Angelo, with minor flooding near Carlsbad. Some of this water drained into OC Fisher Lake on the northwest side of San Angelo,  where the lake level increased by 6.7 percent. With the rain event on October 30-31, a new daily record rainfall (2.62 inches) was set at Abilene on October 30. The rainfall in October helped to alleviate the drought conditions.

A fairly active weather pattern prevailed in November.  Abilene recorded its 5th wettest November.  The monthly precipitation (3-6 inches with locally higher amounts) was well-above normal across most of the northern half of west-central Texas, across parts of the Concho Valley and Heartland, and in a small part of the Northwest Hill Country.  The monthly precipitation amounts were influenced largely by a significant rain event November 26-29.  Following a modified arctic frontal passage, temperatures on the 27th fell into the 30s.  Some freezing rain across the Big Country caused patchy slippery spots on roadways, and resulted in a couple of minor power outages.  The weight of the ice caused damage to trees around View in Taylor County. 

Wetter and warmer than normal conditions occurred in December. San Angelo recorded its 9th wettest December. On December 12th, a band of showers and thunderstorms moved rapidly east across west-central Texas, and was accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Gusty west winds followed on the 13th.  

A powerful storm system brought strong to severe storms with moderate to heavy rainfall on December 26th, followed by winter weather on December 27th. The winter precipitation was mostly in the form of sleet, before transitioning to snow. Snowfall amounts were in the 2-4 inch range across much of west-central Texas, with localized bands of higher amounts.