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Texas Climate Report: February 2022


Texas weather for the month of February 2022  was marked with drier than average precipitation totals and cooler than normal temperatures. Across the month, Texas received an average of 0.98” of precipitation across all counties. This value was 0.62” less than the long term mean of 1.60”, making this February the 30th driest on record. Across the month, Texas had an average temperature of 45.8 °F across all counties. This value was 3.6 °F cooler than the long-term mean of 49.4 °F, making this February the 22nd coldest on record. Due to offsetting drier and cooler than normal weather, drought conditions remained mostly constant compared to the previous month. Although severe, extreme, and moderate drought areas decreased, abnormally dry conditions remained the same.  While North Central Texas saw the greatest improvements in drought conditions across this period, South Texas saw the greatest degradation.

Severe Weather

On February 17th, several severe wind reports were reported in West Texas. From 0200-0330 UTC extreme winds between 58-67 miles per hour were reported in Reagan, Martin, Hockley, Andrews, and Lubbock counties.

Several official NWS surface analyses on February 22nd revealed a cold front and dryline moving southeast into Texas. Due to this synoptic-scale system, strong convective storms were produced causing severe weather in North Texas, specifically, the Dallas-Fortworth Metroplex. Several counties in the region all had reports of 1.0” hail or larger. Between 0200-0430, UTC hail reports were initially made further west in Wise, Parker, Young, and Jack counties. As the storm system moved eastward, Denton, Collin, and Delta counties reported hail between 0900-1130 UTC.  The most extreme hail reports were in Denton County with reports of 1.75” hail and Wise County with reports of 2.125” hail. During this same system, extreme winds were noted in the region at 58-59 miles per hour.

While not as extreme as the February 2021 winter storm, another winter storm impacted the United States between February 1st and February 9th. This winter storm brought snow accumulations across the state. The Dallas-Fortworth area recorded 1.7”, the Austin area recorded 0.2”, the Brownsville area recorded 1.87”, the Abilene area recorded 3.0”, the Midland-Odessa area reported 1.1”, the Lubbock area recorded 1.6”, and the Amarillo area recorded 5.0”.



February precipitation was near normal or slightly below normal across most counties in the state. Similar to the climatological means, the western side of the state remained drier than the east. Specifically, in the Panhandle, Big Bend Country, and across the Rio Grande Border precipitation was between 0.1-0.5”. These were the driest regions across this month. In these regions, the counties of Hartley, Oldham, Swisher, Hale, Lamb, Bailey, Cochran, Hockley, Crane, Winkler, Loving, and Ward were the driest in the state, all recording less than 0.5” of precipitation. Loving County recorded the least amount of rainfall at 0.01”. West Central Texas and the South Texas Plains also experienced relatively dry conditions with slightly higher precipitation accumulations of 0.5-1”. The Red River Valley and Gulf Coast observed 1-2” of precipitation. The wettest region across this month was the Piney Woods region, with most counties recording 2-4” of precipitation. Cass County recorded the most precipitation in the state at 4.23”.

 Although only six counties (Orange, Jefferson, Newton, Hardin, Jasper, and Chambers) recorded more than a 2” precipitation anomaly across the month, several counties experienced particularly dry Februarys compared to their long-term mean. Compared to the long-term average precipitation from the past 128 years, 129 counties experienced precipitation values which put them in the 66th percentile of driest February on record. These counties were mainly located in regions of the Panhandle, Southern Piney Woods, and South Texas Plains. Hamilton County was the only county in the 90th percentile for driest February on record, experiencing their 12th driest February. Nine counties (Callahan, Cameron, Willacy, Scurry, Taylor, Mitchell, Eastland, Stephens, and Coke) experienced precipitation which put them in the 66th percentile for the wettest February on record. The remaining 116 counties experienced near-normal precipitation.



As of March 1st, 2022, nearly the entire state of Texas was experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Specifically, 93% of the state was experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions, 81% of the state was experiencing at least moderate drought, 57% of the state was experiencing at least severe drought, and 24% of the state was experiencing extreme drought. The regions experiencing extreme drought conditions were the Northern Panhandle, Southern Big Bend Region, Northern South Texas Plains, and a strip between the Brazos and Pecos rivers.  The remainder of these regions as well as North Texas and the Edwards Plateau were experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. The Gulf Coast and Central Texas, between Travis and Brazos counties, were experiencing the least intense drought conditions with these regions being abnormally dry or having no drought conditions at all.


Comparing March 1st, 2022 to February 1st, 2022, drought conditions mostly improved across the state. Extreme drought conditions went from 32% down to 26%, severe drought conditions went from 69% down to 57%, and moderate drought conditions went from 84% down to 81%. The main improvements in drought conditions came from North Central Texas. The majority of counties in this region experienced at least a single class improvement, however, several counties saw multiple class improvements. Coke County and Runnel County improved the greatest with each observing areas of three class improvements. While the extreme drought conditions in the Panhandle, Big Bend Country, and South Texas Plains remained relatively the same compared to last month, as evident by the gray depicted on the map, the extreme drought area between the Brazos and Pecos rivers shrunk considerably. Many counties between these rivers, specifically the north-central region on the map, went from extreme drought conditions down to severe and moderate drought conditions. Furthermore, much of the extreme drought conditions in North Texas dissipated as well, leaving this region with 1 class improvement in many counties. Drought conditions got worse in the South Texas Plains with extreme, severe, and moderate drought expanding south.



February temperatures were below normal with every county across the state experiencing temperatures below their long-term mean. Outside of the Red River Valley, Northern Gulf Coast, and Big Bend Country where temperatures were 1-3 °F cooler than normal, the majority of counties across the state observed temperatures 3-5 °F cooler than normal. Fourteen counties ( Jones, Concho, Kent, Menard, Burnet, Fisher, Reagan, Schleicher, Stonewall, Haskell, Hidalgo, Irion, McCulloch, and Tom Green) observed even more extreme departures with temperatures 5-6 °F cooler than normal. The most extreme departure was in Jones County where temperatures were 5.8 °F cooler than their long-term mean of 47.1 °F. The least extreme temperature departure was in Brewster County where temperatures were only 0.6 °F cooler than their long-term mean of 51 °F.

 Compared to the long-term mean from the past 128 years, all but two counties (Brewster and Hunt) experienced temperatures that put them in at least the 66th percentile for their coldest February on record. Seventeen counties (Schleicher, Gaines, Hidalgo, Starr, Sutton, Fisher, Irion, Yoakum, Andrews, Cameron, Crockett, Jim Hogg, Jones, Loving, Reagan, Terry, and Willacy)  experienced temperatures that put them in the 90th percentile for coldest February on record. The highest rank was Schleicher county, where their average February temperatures of 43.7 °F allowed them to have their 9th coldest February on record.


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