Texas Almanac, 1964-1965 Page: 98
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Texas average rainfall is charted here. Flat averages of all Texas stations were used
for 1890-1913; weighted averages, 1914.55; and average for 10 climatic sections, 1956.62.
lowest during the warmest part of the after-
noon. Annual noontime averages vary from
70 per cent on Galveston Island to 34 per
cent at El Paso.
Sunshine is abundant in the extreme west
and southwest sections of the state, decreas-
ing gradually eastward. On an average, El
Paso receives 82 per cent of the total possible
sunshine annually, while Port Arthur re-
ceives only 58 per cent.
The variety in climate offered by Texas
produces a wide range of growing seasons,
and consequently, an unusually large variety
of crops. (See crops and livestock section.)
The average length of the growing season
(freeze-free period) in the Lower Rio Grande
Valley is 350 days, compared to 180 days in
the northwest Panhandle.
Except for the mountainous region of ex-
treme West Texas, snowfall is largely con-
fined to Northwest Texas where both latitude
and elevation are influential in determining
amounts. Vega, elevate n 4,000 feet, in the
western Panhandle, averages slightly over
24 inches of snow annually, while no meas-
urable snow has fallen at Brownsville in the
past 67 years. During the blizzard of Feb.
1-5, 1956, snow reached a depth of 33 inches
at Hale Center. Blizzard conditions or heavy
snowfalls occur infrequently in Northwest
What is probably the greatest heavy-snow
anomally in the climatic history of the U.S.
resulted from a snowstorm along the upper
Texas and central Gulf Coasts on Feb. 14-15,
1895. Houston, Orange, Stafford, and Colum-
bia each i'eported a snowfall of 20 inches.
Galveston had a fall of 15.4 inches. On only
one other occasion since records began in
1871 has Galveston had more than a one-inch
fall: a 2.2-inch snow Feb. 12-13, 1960.
Weather in 1960
February temperatures set new cold rec-
ords. February was the coldest since 1929
at many locations. Heavy snow fell in South
Texas and the Coastal Plains on Feb. 12.
Unofficial measurements of 8 to 10 inches
were reported in the Beaumont-Orange area.
Oddly, new heat records for so early in
spring occurred on Feb. 9, when Austin had
870, Laredo 98, and Rio Grande City 1020.
From June 23-26, heavy rain fell along
the Coastal Bend and Upper Coast as a re-
sult of a tropical storm that moved inland
south of Corpus Christi. The storm did not
reach hurricane intensity, but winds up to
68 miles per hour were recorded at the Padre
Island Weather Station near Corpus Christi.
Port Lavaca was especially hard hit, with
two lives lost by drowning as a storm total
of 29.76 inches of rain was measured. Gen-
eral soaking rains occurred over the eastern
half of the state, and serious local flooding
occurred in Brazoria Matagorda, Jackson,
Calhoun and Refugio Counties.
October was warm, wet and stormy. Sep-
tember's dry weather was dramatically re-
versed as all sections except Southwest Texas
reported rainfall much above average. Vic-
toria recorded 17.25 inches of rainfall in
October, an all-time record for any month.
The year ended cold and wet, with one
of the coldest Decembers on record. Heavy
snow blanketed western Texas from the
Trans-Pecos to the Panhandle, Dec. 7-10,
with 5-18 inches on the ground.
Average 1960 annual rainfall for the State
was 33.78 inches. Extremes: Port Lavaca,
Calhoun County 77:01 inches; La Tuna, El
Paso County, 5.19 inches.
Weather in 1961
The big weather news of 1961 was Hurri-
cane Carla, Sept. 8-14, one of the most vio-
lent storms in Texas history, See "Destruc-
tive Texas Storms".) The "eye" of Hurricane
Carla entered the Texas coast in the Port
O'Connor area on Sept. 11, and followed a
path over Yoakum and Waelder, and near
Austin, Waco and Fort Worth, before crossing
into Oklahoma on the 12th. In this hurricane,
and associated tornadoes, 34 lives were lost
in Texas, and at least 465 others were in-
jured. Property and crop losses reached an
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Texas Almanac, 1964-1965, book, 1963; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth113807/m1/100/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.