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August 2023 Climate Summary

August 2023 was mostly hot, dry, and devoid of thunderstorms as a result of the persistent subtropical ridge lingering over our state as it has since June. Some instances of relief were seen when a few cold fronts were able to sweep their way across the state and bring cooler temperatures, as well as the presence of Tropical Storm Harold in southern Texas bringing much needed rain to the area. Throughout the month, 69 storm reports were made: 12 hail reports, 2 tornado reports, and 55 high wind reports. Here are some of the most notable events:

  • August 11: Golf ball sized hail was observed in Montague County.
  • August 15: An NWS employee witnessed a landspout in Cameron County while commuting to work.
  • August 27: Waco Regional Airport reported winds in excess of 50 mph, overturning planes and damaging their ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System).

Average temperatures spanned between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the month. The warmest temperatures were predominately along the Rio Grande as well as the “Texas Triangle” (the region roughly bound by Austin/San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston). The highest monthly average recorded was 93.4 degrees in Comanche County. The Panhandle and portions of Far West Texas were the coolest regions of the state, with the coldest monthly average recorded at 76.0 degrees in Jeff Davis County. Overall, the state had above average temperatures with some areas reaching 5 degrees above normal.

August 2023 temperature averages

August 2023 temperature anomalies

August precipitation was mostly below average for Texas. Rainfall was widespread with portions of North Central and South Central Texas having large areas of no rainfall for the month. Most areas receiving rainfall recorded up to 0.5 inches, but South Texas and Far West Texas saw well above this amount. The greatest accumulation of precipitation for the month was 7.41 inches in Orange Grove in Nueces County with 6.98 inches of this total from Tropical Storm Harold. Overall, monthly rainfall amounts were lower than normal for most of the state except for South Texas and parts of Far West Texas.

August 2023 precipitation

August 2023 precipitation anomaly map

High temperatures and minimal precipitation negatively impacted the state in terms of drought conditions. Widespread classification degradations were seen across most of the state except for a few areas in South Texas with classification improvements. As of this week, 98% of the state is experiencing dryness versus 78% a month ago. The portion of the state in drought has risen to 76% versus 49% at the start of August. The area of Texas in moderate drought is 14% (31% one month ago), 29% is in severe drought (13% one month ago), 20% is in extreme drought (4% last month), and 13% is in exceptional drought (1% last month).

Drought map differences

The Climate Prediction Center expects for the subtropical ridge to persist through much of September. With this, the upcoming month is expected to follow the pattern of August. All of Texas is expected to have below average precipitation, while temperatures are very likely to be above normal across the state. As a result, drought is expected to persist and worsen for many parts of the state.

cpc temperature outlook

cpc precipitation outlook

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