Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

image courtesy of US Drought Monitor.

Climate Change

World Economic Forum: Texas Could Experience Warmest Winter In 130 Years

Texas is likely to experience its warmest winter in 130 years, according to the World Economic Forum. Considering last year’s deep freeze is still haunting those of us in the deep South, that may sound like a relief. Although, as I’m writing this, our Powerball-esque weather has thrown us a low number, so it doesn’t feel like it would be that warm at the moment. Just last week, we had our first freeze here in Louisiana, then it got up in the ’70s a few days later. Then it got a bit cold again. This is what I mean by Powerball-esque. As we deal with yo-yo temperatures, it’s hard for most to take notice of what the World Economic Forum is pointing out.

And although they focused on Texas, which is the second largest state in the US, this affects the South as a whole. The article cited John Nielson-Gammon, a regents professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University who is also the state’s climatologist. Nielsen-Gammon pointed out that December 2021 was the state’s warmest on record since 1889.

“It’s like the entire state moved south for the winter. 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.”

With an average temperature of 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit, February 2017 currently holds the record for the warmest winter month in Texas. Nielsen-Gammon noted that the official state record for the warmest December is held by December 1933 at 53.3 degrees. He added that the 20th century average for December was 46.9 degrees.

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

Nielsen-Gammon thinks that once all the data are in, December 2021 will top that by averaging nearly 12 degrees above the long-term average. Yet there is another December in recorded history with similar warmth — 1889. It was also an unusual month.

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

Drought Is A Side Effect Of The Warmer Temperatures

Nielsen-Gammon pointed out that in West Texas, it hasn’t rained for over two months. And the high temperatures increase the rate of evaporation and dry out everything. This leads to increased wildfire risk. The warm weather has made the state’s drought situation more severe and the hot weather exacerbated drought conditions throughout the state. the US Drought Monitor noted that over two-thirds of Texas is currently in drought, with 10% being in extreme drought.

In October 2019, I covered Drive Electric Week events in Abita Springs, Louisiana, and paid for it with sunburns. I drank so much water that day I thought I would turn into a river. The point I’m making is that I’ve noticed the changes. The summers are hotter. The winters are warmer, but when they do get cold, they have a tendency to be a bit extreme. February 2021 is a great example of that. There were even some instances in 2020 when it was warmer in Antarctica than it was in Baton Rouge.

The question is: what can we do about it? Aside from trying to slow and eventually stop the warming, we need to focus on adapting. I plan to invest in solar-powered generators for the next hurricane season. Ida was hell.

Featured image courtesy of US Drought Monitor.

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok


You May Also Like


Long distances, oilfields, and low salaries abound south of the Rio Bravo. If you ask me, it’s mainly these three conditions that have marked...

Clean Power

Repowering an existing wind farm is one way to get around the anti-wind movement and keep pumping more clean kilowatts into the grid.

Fossil Fuels

Joe Biden promised to be the environment president, but several recent decisions by his administration threaten that promise.

Fossil Fuels

Sunrise El Paso and Ground Game Texas have forced a local referendum on a climate initiative to reduce fossil fuel extraction.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.