2011: A Record Breaking Year!

 
Two big ALL-TIME yearly records were broken in 2011, with another couple of marks that were just missed at both Lubbock and Childress!
 
 
RECORD:
Through December 31, 2011:
Old Record:
Difference:
Lowest yearly precipitation
at Lubbock
5.86 inches 8.73 inches (1917) -2.87 inches
Warmest average yearly temperature at Childress  65.2°F  64.8 (1954) +0.4°F
RECORD: Through December 31, 2011: Current Record: Difference:
Warmest average yearly temperature at Lubbock
62.9°F 63.3 (1934) -0.4°F
Lowest yearly precipitation at Childress
11.98 inches
10.44 inches (1956) +1.44 inches
 

Plot of precipitation accumulation at Lubbock for 2011 (blue). Also plotted are the normal yearly precipitation distribution (red) and the previously driest year on record (1917 - in magenta) for Lubbock.

Plot of precipitation accumulation at Lubbock for 2011 (blue). Also plotted are the normal yearly precipitation distribution (red) and the previous driest year on record (1917 - in magenta) for Lubbock. Graph courtesy of the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NERCC).  
 

The extremely hot and dry year of 2011 has finally come to a close, but not without breaking some annual records. Specifically, Lubbock shattered the record for the driest year (see the above graph and table) as the total precipitation that occurred during 2011 was almost three inches lower than the next closest year (1917)!

 
Plot of precipitation accumulation at Childress for 2011 (blue). Also plotted are the normal yearly precipitation distribution (red) and the driest year on record (1956 - in brown) for Childress.
Plot of precipitation accumulation at Childress for 2011 (blue). Also plotted are the normal yearly precipitation distribution (red) and the driest year on record (1956 - in brown) for Childress. Graph courtesy of the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NERCC).
 

Childress, too, (like the entire region) has been mired in an exceptional drought much of this year. However, more regular and intense precipitation this fall and early winter has boosted rain totals (see the above graph), lifting Childress above its driest year on record (1956, which only saw 10.44 inches). Still, 2011 finished as the third driest year on record at Childress. 

 

Graphs displaying the observed temperature (black) and precipitation (green) at Lubbock in 2011. Also plotted are the normal temperatures (green), record highs (red), record lows (blue) and normal precipitation (brown). Click on the graph for a larger view.

Graphs displaying the observed temperature (black) and precipitation (green) at Lubbock in 2011. Also plotted are the normal temperatures (green), record highs (red), record lows (blue) and normal precipitation (brown). Click on the graph for a larger view.
 

In addition to the drought, the summer of 2011 was scorching, and most of the year was much warmer much than average. A slightly cooler autumn and early winter dropped 2011 down to the second warmest year on record at Lubbock, falling just short of the record mark established in 1934. A record warm year did occur at Childress as the average temperature for the year was 0.4°F above the previous record set in 1954.

 

Graphs displaying the observed temperature (black) and precipitation (green) at Childress for 2011. Also plotted are the normal temperatures (green), record highs (red), record lows (blue) and normal precipitation (brown). Click on the graph for a larger view.

Graphs displaying the observed temperature (black) and precipitation (green) at Childress for 2011. Also plotted are the normal temperatures (green), record highs (red), record lows (blue) and normal precipitation (brown). Click on the graph for a larger view.

 


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