Skip Nav

Texas Climate Report: October 2021


Texas weather for the month of October 2021, was marked with near-normal precipitation and very warm temperatures. This month was the 55th wettest October from the last 127 years with a state average rainfall of 2.40”. This value was slightly lower than the long-term mean of 2.53”. While West Texas saw particularly dry conditions, Central Texas and the Gulf Coast saw wet conditions. This month was the 6th warmest October from the last 127 years with a state average temperature of 69.8°F. This value was 3.7°F warmer than the long-term average of 66.1°F. With warmer than average temperatures and normal precipitation, drought conditions worsened across the state with many regions experiencing 1 or 2 drought class degradations. Severe weather was minimal with only a couple of tornadoes in the southeast causing significant impacts.

Severe Weather

The biggest severe weather news coming from this month was the October 27th tornados that impacted parts of southeast Texas. On October 27th, multiple tornadoes formed and made impacts in Montgomery County, Jefferson County, Orange County, and Newton County. The first tornado formed in Montgomery County and was classified as an EF0 tornado with a max width of 20 yards. This tornado was quite brief, only traveling 30 yards. 5 minutes after this tornado, a second EF0 tornado formed in Jefferson County. While much wider at 100 yards, this tornado did not travel a path. Not long after these first two tornadoes, a pair of tornadoes formed back to back further to the east in Orange County. Both of these tornadoes were classified as EF2 tornadoes with the first tornado having a max width of 50 yards traveling a path of 2.1 miles. The second tornado in Orange County was the most severe with a width of 100 yards traveling 7 miles north up into Newton County. These tornadoes caused damage to local infrastructure and the final tornado critically injured one person. 

Outside the tornadoes, on October 27th many other counties in eastern Texas, in the Piney Woods Region and Lakes and Prairies Region, experienced severe winds that knocked over trees and fences. Furthermore on October 11th, the Dallas-Fortworth Metroplex, especially in Denton county, experienced severe wind readings, however, no tornadoes formed. Finally, a couple of hail events impacted Deaf Smith County, Kimble County, and Kent County across the month with hail measurements coming in at 1”, 1.25”, and 1.5” in. diameter respectively. 


This month in Texas weather saw drier conditions to the west and wetter conditions to the east. The Big Bend region experienced the driest conditions in the state averaging between 0.1”-1” of precipitation. The South Texas Plains and Panhandle experienced slightly higher accumulation at 0.1”-3” of precipitation. To the east, precipitation accumulation was higher. The Hill Country, the Prairies and Lakes region, and the northern Piney Woods region saw 2”-5” of precipitation.  The southern Piney Woods and Gulf Coast saw some of the highest accumulation in the state at 4”-7” of precipitation. Central Texas saw the most precipitation in the state with counties experiencing 5”-9” of precipitation. Specifically, DeWitt County, Karnes County, Wilson County, Gonzales County, Guadalupe County, Caldwell County, and Hays County all experience above 9” of precipitation and thus were the wettest counties in the state across October.

Comparing precipitation accumulation to past years, counties in West Texas and the Big Bend region experienced a very dry October compared to the past 127 years. Specifically, Pecos County (8th), Crane County (9th), Ector County (6th), Wrinkle County (3rd), Ward County (5th), Hudspeth County (10th), and El Paso County (7th) ranked in the 90th percentile for their driest October on record. On the other side of things, counties in Central Texas and along the Gulf Coast experienced a very wet October compared to the past 127 years. Specifically, Caldwell County (11th), Guadalupe County (11th), Gonzales County (7th), Willacy County (12th), and Cameron County (11th) ranked in the 90th percentile for their wettest October on record.





As of November 2nd, 2021, 62% of the state was classified as being at least abnormally dry. 33% of the state was in moderate drought, and 6% of the state was in severe drought. The remaining 38% of the state had no drought conditions. The South Texas Plains,  the Big Bend region, the Panhandle, and the northern Piney Woods region saw the majority of the abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions across the state. The area between the Pecos River and Odessa Texas in Ector County to the Brazos river around Haskell County saw the majority of the severe drought conditions in the state.  The remainder of the state, specifically, the Hill Country, Central Texas, and the Gulf Coast saw no drought conditions.

Across the month of October, the state experienced mostly drought condition degradation across the state. Counties in the Big Bend region, down the Rio Grande river into the South Texas Plains, the Panhandle, and the northern Piney Woods region mostly experienced a single category degradation. Certain Counties in these regions, especially around Odessa and Midland Texas experienced two category degradations. Counties in Central Texas experienced single category improvement leading to drought-free conditions in the central and southeastern portions of the state.




Texas saw roughly uniform positive temperature departure across the state. The majority of the state's regions saw temperatures 2-4 °F above the normal. The far east side of the Panhandle Plains, down the Rio Grande Border, and the central portion of the Piney Woods region all experienced higher departure with temperatures 4-6 °F above the normal. Alternatively, the southern Gulf Coast and the western border of the Big Bend region experienced lower departure with temperatures 0-2°F above the normal. The highest departure during this month was experienced in Wise County with temperatures 8-10°F above the normal

Comparing October temperatures to past years, the majority of the state's counties experienced temperatures that put them in the 90th percentile for warmest average October temperatures for their county compared to the past 127 years. These counties were found specifically in the Big Bend region, the Panhandle, The South Texas Plains, and the Gulf Coast. Outside of those counties, the remainder of counties across the state still experienced warm temperatures, ranking in the 66th percentile for warmest average October temperatures compared to the past 127 years. 




College of Arts & Sciences

Be Here. Be ArtSci.