Texas is one of the most recognizable places in America. Given a map of the US, I’m sure that more than a few people from other countries would struggle with naming different states just from their outline.
However, I’m willing to bet that a lot of them could easily pick out Texas. Even if I gave them a photograph of the dusty plains of west Texas, many would be able to correctly guess the state.
The borders, the landscape, the people, the culture, all are very recognizable.
Part of the reason for this is the environment and climate of the far south. It conjures up images of the wild west, and this image runs parallel to our thoughts of Texas.
Hot and dusty with an eagle cawing in the background and only the plateaus for shade. The romance of it is wonderful, but it conjures up questions for those living elsewhere.
Just how hot does Texas get? Is it incredibly hot all the time? Is it seasonal? Is it cold but dusty? In this article, we seek to answer this question and accurately describe the heat as it scorches the Texan landscape.
Climate Of Texas
The thing with Texas is that it is huge. This isn’t some weird Segway into talking about the size of Texas, as some people are wont to do.
Instead, it is meant to show the incredible variation in weather and climate. For example, earlier I mentioned that Texas is hot and dusty, which is the stereotypical image people have for the state.
Yet, this isn’t entirely accurate, and this is thanks to its size. If I was to describe west Texas, it would mostly be hot and dry, but east Texas is a lot more humid and oceanic in climate.
Therefore, it is important to talk about the different regions before discussing the temperature.
The northern areas of the state are semi-arid and don’t receive much rainfall, however during the winter months they can receive a fair amount of snowfall for a southern state – up to 30 inches sometimes.
The trans-pecos region is by far the driest receiving less than 410 mm of rain per year, this arid land is the classic image of Texas we see in movies and has the most clear days of any region.
However, it should be noted that in the mountainous areas of the state, there are forests, and it is a lot wetter.
Texas Hill Country probably has the most diverse climate, with the weather producing multiple rivers and valleys, but also having incredibly dry and dusty areas.
Hill country is known for its vegetation, and it sports several forests in the more humid areas in the east that are prone to flooding and mostly dry Savannah in the northwest that are prone to drought.
The Piney wood’s region of east Texas is the most humid and receives the most rainfall of any part of the state.
Most of the days in this region are overcast and cloudy, with the weather being closer to that of Taiwan or the Philippines than anywhere in Texas.
South Texas is much more like Mexico or Central America in weather, having a tropical savanna-like climate.
It receives more rainfall than a lot of Texas states along the coast, but the inland areas are drier and the lack of humidity in total stops any kind of snowfall.
As you can see from looking at each region, they all have very variable climates, and often they can change on a dime.
This makes talking about how hot it can get in Texas a little difficult, as many people would assume it would be the same temperature everywhere, but this is simply not the case.
So, How Hot Does It Get In Texas?
Texas is a hot state in general, but how hot does it get really depends on where you are. The average temperature changes from region to region.
In almost all regions of Texas, the temperature is normally around 96 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius) in summer during the day and around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) at night.
Hearing these statistics for most people who live in the US will have them reaching for their air conditioner or fan, but when you live in it everyday you just learn to deal with it really.
However, if you are not asking how hot it gets day to day, but instead what is the hottest it has been, that is a different story.
Most of the areas that have experienced high temperatures in Texas are actually in the north, and those temperatures were between 113 and 117 degrees.
The only outliers to these areas were El Paso in the west, experiencing a sizzling 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius), and the city of Monahans on the edge of the Chihuahuan desert, which once had a day of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).
An insane temperature to be sure, and one that I would not want to experience.
It is likely that Texas could get hotter in the future, what with climate change affecting the globe, but for now Monahans holds the record for hottest Texas city.
Well, How Cold Does It Get Then?
If I have sought to answer your question about how hot Texas can get, I should also answer how cold it can get as well, and go for both extremes.
As mentioned, Texas is not necessarily a cold place to live, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cold, in fact it can get quite nippy depending on where you go.
In almost all regions in Texas, the temperature does not tend to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and in the most never drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) during the day.
However, at night there can be a huge variation with the southern regions never going below the 30s (0 to 1 degrees Celsius) but in the north it can sometimes go down into the 20s (-4 to -6 degrees Celsius).
This might shock some people who always thought of Texas as really hot all the time, but with arid and desert areas, the temperature does drop significantly as there is no cloud cover to key the heat in a certain area.
The same clear skies that make Texas arid and dry, as make it quite cold at night.
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Texas was actually in the north near Tulia. In 1933, there was a day when the temperature was recorded at 23 degrees below zero, which is monstrously cold.
The fact that the southernmost state and the closest to the equator, a veritable hot zone on earth, recorded a temperature normally reserved for Canada is incredible.
Still, this is a rare occurrence and will probably be happening less and less in the future, but it is worth keeping in mind.
Texas is one of the hotter states in the US. It experiences more warm weather than almost anywhere else, but due to its size that does not mean that that weather is necessarily dry.
It can be humid, rainy, stormy, arid, and even, on occasion, snowy. So, when visiting Texas, it is probably best to look up the climate and temperature for a region, rather than just finding out how hot Dallas or Houston are that day.
It might save you some intense sweating in the boiling sun or even a chill from the wind.