National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Precipitation for April was well-below normal across most of west-central Texas (Figure 1).

At Abilene Regional Airport, the average temperature for April was 66.8 degrees. This was 2.2 degrees above the normal average temperature of 64.6 degrees. Total precipitation for Abilene in April was 0.61 inches. This was 1.03 inches below the normal of 1.64 inches.

At San Angelo Regional Airport, the average temperature for April was 69.0 degrees. This was 3.0 degrees above the normal average temperature of 66.0 degrees. Total precipitation for San Angelo was 0.41 inches. This was 1.01 inches below the normal of 1.42 inches.

San Angelo, TX (SJT): April, 2014 Monthly Percent of Normal Precipitation Valid at 5/1/2014 1200 UTC - Created 5/1/14 23:39 UTC

Figure 1: Percent of Normal Precipitation for April, 2014.

For much of the area, the monthly precipitation was less than 50 percent of normal.  The exceptions were across the northern half of Haskell and Throckmorton Counties, western Irion County, and in other isolated pockets of West Central Texas, where locally heavy rainfall occurred.    

Temperatures averaged above normal for the month.  

A severe weather event occurred in Haskell and Throckmorton Counties, on the evening of the 1st.  With the approach of a dryline into an unstable airmass, a few thunderstorms developed, strengthened and became severe across Haskell and Throckmorton Counties.  The radar animation below (Figure 2) shows the development and track of the storms, between 6 PM and 9:20 PM CDT, on April 1.

Figure 2: Animated National Weather Service San Angelo Radar Imagery, for April 1.

These storms produced golfball size hail in Haskell County (7-8 miles south-southeast of Haskell).  In Throckmorton County, the storms produced golfball to baseball size hail.  The baseball size hail covered the ground 6 miles south of Throckmorton. 

A significant weather event occurred on the 3rd, when a strong upper level storm system lifted northeast into the central and southern Plains.  Temperatures were very warm on the 3rd (in the upper 80s to mid 90s), just prior to a Pacific front advancing east across the area. Scattered showers and thunderstorms developed just ahead of the Pacific front on the afternoon and evening of the 3rd, to the southeast of a line from Ozona to Vancourt to Coleman.  A severe storm damaged an outbuilding in Brown County (5 miles southeast of May), with estimated wind speeds of 60 mph. 

Much cooler air following a cold frontal passage during the overnight hours of the 3rd and 4th.  A temperature drop of 45-55 degrees occurred from the afternoon of the 3rd, to the early morning of the 4th.    

As a strong upper level disturbance entered Texas from the west, a small cluster of thunderstorms developed on the evening of the 6th. One of the storms produced large hail up to golfball size near Barnhart. 

Very warm daytime temperatures occurred on April 10-12, and highs were in the 90s across most of West Central Texas on the 10th and 11th. 

Strong to severe storms occurred on the afternoon and evening of the 13th, as a strong upper level disturbance entered the area and a dryline approached from the west.  Most of the severe storms contained large hail and affected the Big Country and northern Heartland areas.  The largest reported hail was ping-pong ball size, in Taylor County (4 miles northeast of Tuscola) and in Callahan County (6 miles southeast of Atwell).  Rainfall amounts between one-half and 1 inch occurred along the track of the strongest storms.

Following a strong cold frontal passage during the pre-dawn hours of the 14th, gusty north winds occurred during the day and temperatures were much cooler across West Central Texas.  As high pressure settled south into West Central Texas, the combination of clear skies, light winds and a dry airmass allowed temperatures to dip into the upper 20s to lower 30s for early morning lows on the 15th across most of West Central Texas.  This resulted in a late season light freeze.

Showers and scattered thunderstorms occurred on the 20th and 21st, as an upper level disturbance moved into West Central Texas.  Most of the precipitation was across the area north of a Sonora to Brownwood line.  Rainfall amounts of one-half to three quarters of an inch occurred west of Mertzon in Irion County, and in parts of southern Crockett County.  Farther north and east, scattered locations across the northern and eastern Big Country received between one-half and one inch of rainfall.  

In association with a weak cold front, a cluster of severe storms with large hail occurred across the southeastern part of West Central Texas, on the evening and early nighttime hours of the 21st. The largest hail reports included golfball size in Kimble County (8 miles east-southeast of Segovia), and  ping-pong ball size in San Saba County (4 miles east of Chappel).  Locally heavy (and beneficial) rainfall also accompanied the storms.  Figure 3 shows the rainfall totals for this event.  

 Figure 3: Rainfall for the 24-hour period, ending 7 AM CDT, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Where the storms persisted, rainfall amounts between one-half and 1.5 inches occurred, with localized amounts of 1.5 to 2 inches. 

With the approach of a dryline and upper level disturbance into an unstable airmass, a few severe storms occurred in parts of the northern half of West Central Texas on the evening and early nighttime hours of the 23rd.  The strongest storm tracked east across Haskell and Throckmorton Counties.  A wind gust of 76 mph was measured from this storm 1 mile northwest of Haskell.  The storm produced large hail ranging from quarter to walnut size.  A wall cloud was observed with this storm in Throckmorton County, but it did not produce a tornado.  A storm on the southern fringe of Abilene produced strong, gusty winds, and the Abilene Regional Airport recorded a gust of 59 mph.  Farther to the southwest, quarter size hail was reported from a severe storm in northwestern Coke County (4 miles southwest of Silver).  Rainfall amounts between one-half and 1.5 inches occurred with the storm across the central and northern parts of Haskell and Throckmorton Counties, while amounts farther to the south were one-half inch or less.

On the 24th, a weak cold front advanced south across West Central Texas, with gusty north to northwest winds following its passage.  Some dust was picked up from the area around Lubbock, and transported aloft over much of West Central Texas.

South to southeast winds brought a return of low-level moisture to west-central Texas on the 25th and 26th.  Isolated showers and thunderstorms developed northwest of a line from Sweetwater to Anson to Throckmorton, just ahead of a dryline, on the late afternoon and evening of the 26th. 

An upper level storm system lifted from the southern Rockies across eastern Colorado on the 27th. The track of this system was unfavorable for any thunderstorm development in west-central Texas.  Following passage of a dryline and Pacific cold front early in the day, west-southwest winds brought an intrusion of much drier air into the region.  On the afternoon of the 27th, very warm temperatures were combined with strong, gusty winds and very dry air.  Peak wind gusts reached 52 mph at Abilene, and 45 mph at San Angelo.  With these winds, blowing dust was carried into west-central Texas, mostly aloft, during the afternoon and evening. 

With these conditions, a wildfire developed near Buffalo Gap in Taylor County on the 27th.  Similar conditions occurred again on the 28th with very warm temperatures, gusty west winds, very dry air and dust carried in aloft.  The wildfire near Buffalo Gap continued, and a new wildfire developed near Lake Sweetwater in Nolan County.

On the 29th, blowing dust was also carried into west-central Texas, mostly aloft, with gusty north-northwest winds which followed passage of a cold front.  Temperatures were cooler on the 30th when highs were in the upper 60s to lower 70s across much of West Central Texas.