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Weekly Climate Summary: 01/15/2022

Dry conditions continued to be the story this week in Texas weather with most of West Texas recording very little precipitation. Specifically, the majority of counties in the Panhandle, Big Bend Country, Hill Country, South Texas Plains, and North Texas recorded 0.1” of precipitation or less. While the Gulf Coast saw slightly higher rainfall at 0.1-0.5”, the Piney Woods region once again was the wettest region in the state during the period. Counties in the northern Piney Woods area recorded between 0.1-1” of precipitation while counties in the south recorded between 1-2.5”. The wettest counties across this period included Harris County with 3.25-4” of precipitation and Tyler and Jasper counties with 4.75-5.5” of precipitation. 



Temperatures continued to be warmer than normal for a typical Texas winter this week. Through this period, temperature departures were more drastic in the north than in the south. Looking more south, the Big Bend Country, Hill Country, and South Texas Plains observed temperatures 0-3 °F warmer than normal. Looking north, the Panhandle, North Texas, and the Piney Woods region observed temperatures 3-6 °F warmer than normal, with several counties in the Panhandle observing temperatures 6-9 °F warmer than normal. The most extreme departure in the state across this period was in Refugio, Aransas, and Calhoun counties where temperatures were observed to be at least 15 °F warmer than normal. On the other side of things, Tom Green, Coleman, Atascosa, and McMullen counties recorded negative temperature departures. These four counties recorded temperatures 0-3 °F cooler than normal.



On January 13, 2022, the National Weather Service (NWS) released an updated La Niña advisory. Through December 2021, sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean were below average suggesting a mature La Niña through the winter months. The presence of a mature La Niña this winter is consistent with the dryer than average and warmer than average weather we’ve experienced in Texas. According to the NWS, La Niña is 67% likely to continue from March-May 2022. Transitioning into summer the NWS projects a 51% chance of a transition into ENSO neutral conditions from April-June 2022.


From the evening of  January 8th through the next day on January 9th, several tornadoes formed over Texas counties. Three Tornadoes in Harris County including the Spring Branch Tornado, Humble Tornado, and Kingwood Tornado caused damage across the county. All three tornadoes were classified as EF1 tornadoes and led to many trees being uprooted, cars flipped, and a couple of buildings damaged. Montgomery County also experienced an EF0 Tornado through this period which caused damage to several buildings and residences in the area. Finally, while more intense in the Sabine Parish of Louisiana, Sabine County also had reports of a weak tornado that caused tree damage.




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