Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 15, 2013

Better — relatively speaking

Weather in 2012 was hot and dry, but still not as bad as 2011

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

ATHENS — The year 2012 was hotter and dryer than normal, but still an improvement over the previous year, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Daily records kept at Athens Municipal Airport show temperatures crept higher than the 30-year average in every month except October. The rainfall total for the year was 37.5 inches, more than six inches below the 30-year norm of 42.94.

Meteorologist Jesse Moore of the NWS in Fort Worth said despite the improvements, 2012 was drier and warmer than normal. Looking ahead through the remainder of 2013, Moore sees normal temperatures and about-normal rainfall.

Early 2012 began with a wet winter, ending the severe drought conditions of the previous year. January rainfall totaled 4.94 inches, followed by 3.96 in February. March provided the most precipitation of the year, with 7.78 inches.

“We had quite a bit of rainfall at the start of the year, then we dried out,” Moore said.

April and May, which usually provide a combined rainfall of almost eight inches, only accounted for 1.21 inches in April and 2.37 inches in May. After the wet winter, only August, with 2.50 inches, and a rainy September (7.30 inches), exceeded the 30-year rainfall average.

Summer temperatures were several degrees below the record-breaking heat of 2011. The average June high was 92.7 degrees, compared to 96.73 the previous year. In July, where the 2011 average high rose to 101.1, the 2012 number was 94.61 degrees. August highs averaged 96.13 degrees last year after a scorching 104.6 in 2011.