December 2010 continued a trend of drier than normal weather in College Station that persisted through the second half of 2010. The monthly precipitation total was less than an inch, which was about 25% of the December normal precipitation. Additionally, the lack of precipitation over the past three months, which has been less than two inches (only 16% of the normal October through December precipitation), increased the annual precipitation deficit to more than 10". As of the end of December, the United States Drought Monitor had most of the Brazos Valley, including College Station, designated as being in extreme drought conditions. The only substantial precipitation event occurred on Christmas Eve as a cold front brought showers and thunderstorms and deposited 0.66" of the 0.81" of December rainfall. Cold air poured into College Station after the frontal passage and the maximum temperature on Christmas Day only reached 45°F after a high of 70 the day before. This large temperature swing was commonplace in December 2010, with overall mean temperatures about 3°F above normal. Several fronts pushed through the Brazos Valley and brought dramatic temperature changes but little precipitation. Strong southwesterly winds and sunshine on the 21st warmed the maximum temperature to 84°F on the, smashing the previous record (79°F in 1981) and created a day that felt more like the end of September rather than a day to finish last minute Christmas shopping. Only a few days later, temperatures bottomed out in the 20s for lows on the 26th and 27th. However, the roller coaster ride in temperatures brought warmer air into College Station to end 2010 and created a very pleasant day for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
BOLDFACE indicates an extreme daily value for the month.
ITALICS indicates a daily record was set or tied.
*Departure from the 1971‑2000 normal.
Experiment Station main farm located 7 miles SW of College Station. Records from August 1951 through
the present are based on observations taken at Easterwood Field.