Pleasant Is The New Hot

Texas had a very mild December which the state climatologist described as “hot.”

Last month Texas experienced its warmest December on record since 1889, said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, a regents professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University who also serves as the state climatologist.

From Dallas through Abilene to Del Rio, temperatures averaged 5 to 9 degrees above normal, making December 2021 the warmest December in more than 130 years.

“It’s like the entire state moved south for the winter,” said Nielsen-Gammon. “Amarillo got Dallas’s normal temperatures, Dallas got Corpus Christi’s normal temperatures, and Austin got Brownsville’s normal temperatures.

“Not only is it by far the warmest December since the beginning of comprehensive weather records, it will probably also turn out to be the warmest winter month, period,” said Nielsen-Gammon.

February 2017 holds the current record for warmest winter month in Texas, with an average temperature of 58.4 degrees.

The official state record for warmest December is held by December 1933, at 53.3 degrees. The 20th-century average for December is 46.9 degrees, he noted.

“Texas has never had any month more than 10 degrees above the 20th-century average until now,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

He thinks that when all the data are in, December 2021 will average nearly 12 degrees above the long-term average.

Although data is limited, there does seem to have been one other December in recorded history with comparable warmth: December 1889.

“Observing practices were different, but it’s clear that December 1889 was an unusual month also,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The first decent cold front of that month was on Dec. 29.”

One bad result of the very warm weather — it has made Texas’ drought situation even worse.

The hot weather has exacerbated drought conditions throughout the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than two-thirds of the state is in drought, and 10 percent is in extreme drought.

“In much of West Texas, it hasn’t rained for over two months,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The high temperatures increase the rate of evaporation, drying out everything and leading to increased wildfire risk.”

Climate change has caused Texas seasonal temperatures to average about two degrees warmer than in the 20th century.

“Global warming didn’t cause this December to be record-setting, but it did contribute to the margin of victory,” he said.

December 2021 In Texas Hottest On Record In More Than 130 Years

December 1977 had the most hot days, which like this year was a La Nina year and there was a severe drought in the west.

Brown Warns of Drought Disaster; Says ‘Hard Choices’ Face California – The New York Times

The extreme weather was blamed on a very wavy jet stream.

25 May 1983, Page 29 – Stevens Point Journal at Newspapers.com

Texas hottest December temperature was 98 degrees at Encinal on December 1, 1921. The warmest this year was 92 degrees. There have been twenty-six Decembers with temperatures as warm or warmer than this year.

Texas had seven December days over 90F in 1921, compared to two this year.  What made this year unusual was a lack of cold weather.

22 Dec 1921, Page 1 – The Houston Post at Newspapers.com

Texas longest stretch of 90 degree days was 157 at Encinal in 1921, which was the hottest year on record in Texas.

Last year was below average temperature in Texas and had an unusually low number of hot days.

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13 Responses to Pleasant Is The New Hot

  1. Conrad Ziefle says:

    The hottest since 1889? We’ve essentially back where we were in 1889, only 50 short years after the end of the Little Ice Age. That global warming hockey stick doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

  2. Karl Marx's Dead Corpse says:

    Warm weather is climate change. Cold weather is just weather. If you do not agree you are a racist that hates brown people.

    — the modern left.

  3. arn says:

    Offtopic
    A new member joins the once almost non existent in sports,now on a daily basis heartbreaking pfizer contribution
    Sarah Atcho,pericarditis after Booster shot.

  4. Weylan Ray McAnally says:

    Living in TX, I knew the climate doomsters would be coming out of the shadows to make their apocalyptic prognostications.

  5. rah says:

    Well I figure that’s one hell of a lot better than having the wind turbines freeze up!

    Meanwhile down in FL. They’ve broken out the winter coats, hats, and mittens.

    Someone needs to tell these cretins it’s called WEATHER.

  6. Conrad Ziefle says:

    How is COVID to the CDC and the NIH the same as global climate change is to NASA and NOAA? Self manipulated job security.

  7. Brian D says:

    Dec 1889 was not only on the warm side in TX, but across the entire southern US that year.

  8. Eli the Pit Bull says:

    WaPo just put out another global map showing the entire planet red hot.
    And people actually believe this nonsense

  9. Scott K Jonas says:

    Meanwhile in other parts of the country we had 10 degrees below normal for December, which of course got blamed on global warming.

  10. Scott K Jonas says:

    I forgot to mention that I noticed over the past several years it seemed like Texas was drowning with all the rain, which helped alleviate the previous drought they were complaining about. But I also thought Texas was generally a very dry state like other southern states and California, which is one reason a lot of people move there.

  11. Brian D says:

    Data averaged from major dataset holders even show 1889 as equal in warmth for this region. For the area 25N to 39N and -110W to -95W Land-only with a 1901-2000 baseline, here are the anomalies. HAD5 won’t report until next month, so I estimated that one a little high, as it runs a little higher than the others for this region.
    https://psl.noaa.gov/data/atmoswrit/timeseries/index.html

    Dec 1889
    Berkley – 4.413
    Had5 – 5.291
    NOAA – 4.192
    GISTEMP – 5.331
    Average = 4.807

    Dec 2021
    Berkley – 4.857
    Had5 – (5)
    NOAA – 4.803
    GISTEMP – 4.562
    Average = 4.806

    The reason for the coordinates is I have split the US into 7 different regions with averaged data from various datasets for my own personal charts going back to 1850. Some of these datasets listed above are a part of that, and some are not. WRIT page has many to choose from.

  12. Brian D says:

    The region of the SE, 25N to 39N, -95W to -80W Land-only. Much warmer in 1889.

    Dec 1889
    Berkley – 5.716
    Had5 – 6.778
    NOAA – 6.532
    GISTEMP – 6.436
    Average – 6.366

    Dec 2021
    Berkley – 5.909
    Had5 – (5.9)
    NOAA – 5.622
    GISTEMP – 5.331
    Average – 5.691

  13. Brian D says:

    For the US, 25N to 49N, -125W to -65W Land-only, it was the warmest Dec in 1889.

    Dec 1889
    Berkley – 3.421
    Had5 – 3.751
    NOAA – 3.257
    GISTEMP – 4.091
    Average – 3.63

    Dec 2021
    Berkley – 3.375
    Had5 – (3.5)
    NOAA – 3.19
    GISTEMP – 3.45
    Average – 3.379

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